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CNN Scales Back VR and Digital Projects

As AT&T merger looms, CNN cuts back on virtual reality and other digital projects.

Though it is one of the most recognised news and journalism in the world, CNN has not been able to escape the trials of moving into the complex digital world. CNN is looking at making considerable cost savings in the digital side of its operations.

As the merger between AT&T and CNN’s parent company Time Warner looms, CNN is looking at how to scale back its expenses, with many analysts believing the organisation is trying to preserve what it can ahead of the merger, resulting in as many as 50 jobs around the world being cut.

The cuts are expected to affect employees in areas such as CNN money, video, product, tech and social publishing. Also affected will be CNN’s digital initiatives, including its work in virtual reality (VR) and its SnapChat work, including a live daily webcast which has already been cancelled. According to experts familiar with the situation, CNN has seen a shortfall in revenue expected from online and digital advertising, in common with many other online outlets.

We’ve been transparent about our strategy,” said CNN representative Matt Dornic to Vanity Fair, “In order to innovate, grow and experiment, we’ve added more than 200 jobs in the past 18 months. Not every new project has paid off so we will stop some activities in order to reallocate those resources and enable future experimentation. Organizations that do not make big bets and continuously evolve are the ones that fail.”

What this means for the future of CNN VR projects such as its dedicated VR unit or CNN’s streaming of political debates in 360-degree video is not yet certain. The company as a whole is facing a large amount of uncertainly regarding its future after the $85 billion USD) acquisition by AT&T, with much speculation centred around how long current CNN president Jeff Zucker will remain after the merger.

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Whatever the future of CNN’s VR projects and services, VRFocus will be there to bring you the latest updates.

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