BREAKING: CNN boss announces layoffs, major changes in 'future-proof' plan to save network

An estimated 100 people are set to lose their jobs.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC

On Wednesday, CNN chief executive Mark Thompson sent a memo to staff informing them that major changes were in the works as part of his plan to "future-proof" the network. Included in the plan were a new round of layoffs, experimentation with artificial intelligence, and an overall shift toward the digital market.

An estimated 100 people are set to lose their jobs, which is roughly 3 percent of the network's total staff. The areas of the business from where the cuts will be made were not revealed.

"Turning a great news organization towards the future is not a one-day affair," Thompson told employees, per CNN. "It happens in stages and over time. "Today's announcements do not answer every question or seek to solve every challenge we face. However, they do represent a significant step forward and I hope you will read about them in that spirit."

Thompson said he hoped to use AI to "reclaim the 'pioneering spirit' Ted Turner talked about at our founding and regain a leadership position in the news experiences of the future." He declared the network would make a "strategic push" to "determine how best to safely harness this emerging new technology to serve our audiences and deliver our journalistic goals more effectively and responsively."

Since taking over for former CEO Chris Licht in October, Thompson has faced criticism for not taking enough risks to boost viewership, opting instead to shift existing pieces around instead.

"We don't believe news is just politics," he told advertisers in New York in May, per the New York Post. "Business and tech are news. Climate and weather are news. Health, wellness, and living longer are news. So, expect to see us build new branded verticals in all these areas on TV, on our apps, and across our other platforms."

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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