The annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner came on the heels of the news that CNN+, the network’s new streaming service, was being shut down after just a few weeks and $300 million dollars invested, with new owner Warner Bros. Discovery having reportedly nixed the endeavor that drew few subscribers.
Hundreds of CNN+ employees were expected to lose their jobs. CNN CEO Chris Licht bluntly told staffers in a meeting that it was a “uniquely sh**ty situation,” according to the network, and said in an internal memo “all CNN+ employees will continue to be paid and receive benefits for the next 90 days to explore opportunities at CNN, CNN Digital and elsewhere in the Warner Bros. Discovery family.”
But the “sh**ty situation” didn’t prevent CNN from going all out over the WHCD weekend, according to Radar Online much to the chagrin of some of the now unemployed staffers.
“CNN lavished itself and the party circuit in Washington D.C. during White House Correspondents’ Dinner weekend and spared no expense, less than two weeks after it shut its streaming service and left hundreds without jobs,” Radar reported. “Guests at CNN’s ‘Political Hangover’ brunch, held at a former body shop-turned-lofty event space in DC’s Union Market district, sipped on drinks such as Bloody Mary and Aperol Spritz — and even had handcrafted edible Japanese candy.”
CNN anchor Jake Tapper would retweet the photo below of the high-priced candy featuring his dogs Winston and Clementine, Radar reported.
— WinstonTapper (@WinstonTapper) May 1, 2022
“It’s nuts. The network never ceases to amaze, doesn’t it?” one displaced CNN staffer told Radar.
“Here they are spending gobs of money on a ‘hangover’ brunch to close out WHCD weekend. Management is tone-deaf. Then again, frugal spending isn’t really their forte,” the insider continued.
Licht was seen “hobnobbing alongside on-air talent including Jake Tapper, Dana Bash, Jim Acosta, Brian Stelter, and Don Lemon,” the online entertainment news outlet noted — interestingly, Chris Wallace, who quit Fox News for a CNN+ gig, was nowhere to be found.
As for the aforementioned tone-deafness, it comes as no surprise that Brian Stelter, CNN’s chief media correspondent, would lead the parade here:
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 1, 2022
— Christine Romans (@ChristineRomans) May 1, 2022
— Jason Jedlinski (@JasonJedlinski) May 1, 2022
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