Dwindling ad revenues force CNN Philippines to lay off workers

The pandemic’s impact has reached the newsroom of CNN Philippines which is set to let go an unspecified number of its staff effective March 16.

There was no choice but to proceed with downsizing plans after ad revenues continued to fall a year into the pandemic, top managers of Nine Media Corp. told the staff in a letter seen by AdChoiceTV News.

The company operates the CNN brand in the Philippines.

“This has been a very difficult decision but one that needs to be done so we can continue to serve our audiences as a trusted source of news and information on free TV and digital,” said the Nine Media management team.

The management team is composed of Leon Dy, officer in charge and chief financial officer; Maria Cecilia Major, senior vice president for commercial and business development; and Alfonso Marquez, senior vice president for operations.

Affected employees will be informed of their impending separation from the company “over the next few days,” the letter said. CNN Philippines operates a free TV channel and a news website.

Before layoffs were considered, the management said CNN Philippines had been “adjusting and reducing” other operating costs to remain financially afloat. “Unfortunately, these measures were not enough,” the letter said, leading to the decision to slash manpower. 

The pandemic has brought many media companies, especially smaller local and community news outlets, to their knees as struggling local firms cut back on advertising, commonly a Philippine news outlet’s main revenue source.

CNN Philippines’ announcement of job cuts came at a time when media organizations widely believe that the press is under attack and as disinformation runs rampant on social media.

Media giant ABS-CBN Corp. was also forced to lay off over 5,000 of the network’s 11,000 employees after its main TV and radio channels were shut down by the Duterte government, while Congress dominated by administration allies denied its application for new franchise. — via Letizia Tinoco

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