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CNN.com Shutters Anchor-Driven Newscasts

CNN.comLIVE_11.12.bmpFirst on WebNewser: CNN.com Live is shutting down its anchor-driven newscasts as of tomorrow.

WebNewser has learned Reggie Aqui, Nicole Lapin, Naamua Delaney and Melissa Long, the four primary anchors of CNN.com Live, are being let go as are several production staffers.

In an email, obtained by WebNewser, CNN.com SVP KC Estenson writes, CNN.com Live will shift resources, “to create a unit focused on streaming major live events, producing video packages especially for CNN.com and increasing our overall on-demand offering.”

The shift also means CNN.com will be adding several new positions “focused on original video production” before the end of the year.

Estenson’s note, after the jump…

From: Estenson, KC
Sent: Thursday, November 12, 2009 4:16 PM
Subject: Note To Staff

Over the last year, CNN has been widely recognized as a pioneer and an innovator in the digital space. And while the CNN iPhone App and the launch of the new CNN.com already are proving to be extremely successful, we must continue to evolve in order to maintain relevancy and engage new audiences, as well as responsibly and effectively manage our business.

Throughout the process of imagining, developing and launching our new direction, defining a new video voice was a key cornerstone of that strategy. In building out that strategy, we took a hard look at the opportunities afforded us by both live and on-demand video on CNN.com.

To that end, beginning tomorrow, we will no longer produce anchor-driven, continuous live video programming on CNN.com; and instead, are shifting resources to create a unit focused on streaming major live events, producing video packages especially for CNN.com and increasing our overall on-demand offering.

While this restructuring does involve the elimination of some existing positions, under Mike Toppo’s leadership we have a core team in place to further stretch our lead in online video. Additionally, between now and the end of the year, Mike will be hiring for seven open positions focused on original video production to bolster our team’s efforts and deliver on our overall strategy.

As always, thank you for the tireless efforts you put into the site every day and for being so committed to our vision for the future.


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