CNN Philippines lets go of at least 70 workers
CNN Philippines has laid off at least 70 junior staffers and contractual employees— part of a manpower adjustment program as the channel that was launched early this year seeks to control costs while growing its business, a senior company official said.
CNN Philippines director Benjamin Ramos confirmed to the Inquirer that about 30 junior employees and 40 contractual workers were retrenched in what he described as a “right-sizing” program.
Ramos said the retrenched staffers were mainly involved in programming as well as the technical and operations side of the business. A source said as many as 100 employees were laid off but Ramos said the figure was closer to 70 workers.
“We developed some programs when we started and we hired too many people. So we’re making adjustments,” Ramos said in an interview, adding that it was also a “learning process” for management.
“We are improving our shows. We want a chance for this industry to have something different from what other players are doing,” Ramos said.
Ramos is also president of Radio Philippines Network Inc. (RPN-9) and chief financial officer of businessman Antonio Cabangon-Chua’s group, which is backing CNN Philippines.
READ: Station 9TV rebrands as CNN Philippines
The entry of CNN Philippines was announced in 2014 through a multiyear partnership with Cabangon-Chua’s Nine Media Group. CNN Philippines was rebranded from 9TV , itself formerly known as Solar News Channel.
READ: CNN Philippines: The story, not the messenger
It launched in March this year on free-to-air television, carrying the slogan “We tell the story of the Filipino”, and with the aim of competing with existing and larger players ABS-CBN Corp., GMA Network Inc. and TV5.
Cabangon-Chua acquired Solar TV last year, marking his first foray in the television business. The investment also includes a roughly 34-percent stake in RPN-9.
Cabangon-Chua’s other media assets include newspaper BusinessMirror and radio broadcaster Aliw Broadcasting Corp.
RPN-9 was once the country’s premier television broadcaster before a series of popular revolts in 1986 replaced strongman Ferdinand Marcos with Corazon “Cory” Aquino, mother of incumbent president Benigno Aquino III.
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