CNN is closing its offices, though not for the reason they should, which is a lack of viewership.
No, the little-watched network says that due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, its Atlanta HQ will be closed to “non-essential personnel” for the time being, as the omicron variant spreads around the country.
CNN President Jeff Zucker made the announcement in an internal memo viewed by Reuters.
“We are doing this out of an abundance of caution,” Zucker said. “And it will also protect those who will be in the office by minimizing the number of people who are there,” Zuker continued.
Employees who are required to come into the offices to work must wear a mask at all times except when eating and when they are in the room alone, the memo says — because, you know, the virus won’t spread when a person is eating or in a room by themselves.
The network had set a tentative return-to-office date in January and it isn’t known if that date will move, the Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.
CNN requires all employees to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 to come to office or to work on field with other employees.
The company fired three workers in August for the offense of coming into their office without getting a COVID vaccine.
CNN isn’t having a very good year; when the network isn’t dealing with the intricacies of coronavirus policy, the network is losing in court.
“A U.S. federal judge has ruled that relatives of former national security adviser Michael Flynn can move forward with a lawsuit against CNN,” Conservative Brief reported on Monday.
“The relatives, Flynn’s brother Jack and sister-in-law Leslie, allege that CNN wrongly portrayed them as QAnon conspiracy followers, according to a report,” the outlet added.
“The report included a brief clip of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn proclaiming, ‘where we go one, we go all.’ Plaintiffs John P. (‘Jack’) and Leslie A. Flynn … are shown in the clip standing next to General Flynn,” wrote U.S. District Judge Gregory Woods, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama.
Jack and Leslie are seeking $75 million in damages, arguing that CNN defamed them and portrayed them in a negative light.
Politico described QAnon as a “popular online conspiracy theory that claimed elites were sexually abusing children and that former President Donald Trump was planning to declare a national emergency to strike back at the shadowy figures engaged in the abuse.”
The ruling further states the Flynns must show that “[t]here has been some publication of a false or fictitious fact which implies an association which does not exist; [and] [t]he association which has been published or implied would be objectionable to the ordinary reasonable man under the circumstances.”
This, on the heels of being forced to fire longtime host Chris Cuomo for not being completely truthful about the level of assistance he provided his embattled brother, former New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who left his post in August complaints of sexual misconduct from nearly a dozen women. Chris Cuomo initially informed the network and his viewers that he provided his brother assistance, but documents released earlier this month showed that he did a lot more than just give his brother advice.
Also, Chris Cuomo faced sexual misconduct allegations of his own, which also forced the network’s hand.
But legal troubles and COVID really aren’t CNN’s biggest problem, it’s getting viewers.
“CNN averaged a devastating 480,000 in total day viewership in October, a whopping 76% drop from January amid the chaotic transition from President Trump to President Biden. Fox News averaged 1.4 million and maintained its total day viewership from earlier this year while MSNBC averaged 657,000 viewers in October, resulting in a 61% drop from January. The network lost 14% of its viewers from September,” Fox News — the cable news king — reported in November.