CBS News is the latest casualty amid the COVID-19 pandemic after announcing job losses of 75 staff members on Wednesday. Susan Zirinsky, CBS News President, admit that it was a painful day in a memo. We’re told the cuts also affect flagship show”60min”- and that Zirinsky personally phoned as many of the affected as she could, time permitting. She wrote: “None could have foreseen the economic fallout from the pandemic coming on the top of the cost-saving initiative already underway from the merger of CBS and Viacom.
As a result, we have scrutinized our entire business model, our budgets, and what we learned in newsgathering during the last months. We are not alone; media companies and business are all over the country are organizing and developing new operating models. Working with reduced budgets, we have had to make some extremely difficult decisi9. I’m sad to report today that some of our colleagues and good friends will live in the company.
These decisions are particularly painful for our entire organization, which had performed at the highest level during the COVID-19 pandemic, overcoming so many obstacles. But this restructuring is necessary to ensure CBS news remains strong long into the future. Zirinsky said both she and Kimberly Godwin, executive Vice President of CBS News, would be attending regular show meetings throughout the day to answer staff questions. CBS News is not alone in this process similar changes happening across many CBS divisions today and has taken place in the Viacom division over the past few months.
We looked at every option and exhausted other available cost savings before taking this step. There is nothing more upsetting than having to face these economic realities and I have tried very hard to minimize the impact on all of you, the memo continues to conclude: While it is a painful day, I know the strength and the power of this organization, and I know that we can go forward in a meaningful way. The News comes as we are told the most top brass on all the major networks have taken pay cuts during this time of crisis but on-air talent are not believe not to have had their pay effect.