Nine Media Corporation, the company that owns CNN Philippines, announced to its staff on Thursday, February 11, that it will cut jobs starting March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (READ: How the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the media)
In a copy of the memorandum obtained by Rappler, the management team said it was "a very difficult decision but one that needs to be done so we can continue to serve our audiences."
"Companies are reducing costs to stay afloat. And for many, it means cutting back or reallocating their cost budgets – in particular, their advertising spend, which has a direct impact on our bottom line. As you know, as a media company, we grow our revenue through advertising," the management said.
CNN Philippines said while it was "adjusting and reducing" costs to keep up with the pandemic, the company "had to incur unexpected expenses" to support its staff's uninterrupted employment, health, and well-being.
"But these measures were not enough. We need to further lower our costs by reducing the size of our team effective March 16, 2021," the memo read.
The management said they will soon talk to affected employees to discuss options.
"For those who are staying with the company, we will hold smaller meetings to explain how these structural changes will affect programming and workflow," they added.
CNN Philippines is just one of the many news organizations in the country that had to lay off employees to survive the pandemic.
Several community news groups were shut down due to financial constraints, while the country's leading newspaper, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, has also employed cost-cutting measures.
A global study by the International Center for Journalists and the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University showed an overwhelming majority of their 1,400 respondents said that their most significant need was funding to cover operating costs, including journalists' salaries. – Rappler.com
Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email firstname.lastname@example.org