At an internal town hall meeting with CNN employees today, CNN boss Jeff Zucker was asked his opinion on the possibility of his employees unionizing. His answer may surprise you, or not!
Sources say that an employee asked Zucker if he had a position on the concept of CNN digital employees organizing a union. Zucker replied that that was “not something we’ve contemplated.” In a follow up question, Zucker was asked if he had a personal position on unions, to which he replied “no.”
Okay, sure. Jeff Zucker never reads the news I guess.
The question comes on the heels of yesterday’s announcement that CNN may be laying off up to 50 digital employees, after an aggressive digital expansion in recent years. Despite that, the company’s digital side generates hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue, and the company as a whole reportedly boasted a billion dollars in annual profit in 2016. CNN is owned by a division of Time Warner, which is currently negotiating an $85 billion merger with AT&T. The approval of that merger hinges on the Trump Justice department; Donald Trump famously hates CNN; the network is therefore in a politically perilous position even as it is a cash cow. Caught in the middle of all of this are CNN employees, who have watched more than a thousand of their counterparts in digital media (including Gizmodo Media Group) unionize over the past several years.
Zucker, who took over leadership of CNN in 2012, is super rich.