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2 items from 2008

CNN ends science mission

3 December 2008 10:00 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

New York -- CNN will close its dedicated unit that covered environmental, science and space stories.

The cuts affect about five staffers, including longtime correspondent and space reporter Miles O'Brien, who will leave the network. O'Brien has worked at CNN for 17 years, during which time he covered Space Shuttle launches, anchored hours and co-anchored "American Morning."

CNN executives said it didn't make sense to have the unit as well as a "Planet in Peril" division that covers many of the same topics.

"We want to integrate environmental, science and technology reporting into the general editorial structure rather than have a stand-alone unit," a CNN spokeswoman said Wednesday. "Now that the bulk of our environmental coverage is being offered through the 'Planet in Peril' franchise, which is produced by the ('Anderson Cooper 360°') program, there is no need for a separate unit."

O'Brien said he'll leave CNN with great memories. »

- By Paul J. Gough

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Jobs cut at Weather Channel

24 November 2008 12:00 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

New York -- Storm clouds are brewing at the Weather Channel, with an estimated 60-80 jobs cut in recent weeks as the Atlanta-based company is absorbed into new owner NBC Universal.

Several on-camera meteorologists were laid off, including Weather Channel veterans Dave Schwartz and Cheryl Lemke. Also let go was the staff of "Forecast Earth," the channel's weekend environmental newsmagazine hosted by former CNN and MSNBC anchor Natalie Allen. The cuts also affected employees behind the scenes.

"The economic realities of recent months have created challenges for everyone in our business," NBC Uni said in a statement. "In addition, when NBC Universal purchased the Weather Channel earlier this year, we expected that there would be cost synergies as part of a company reorganization."

NBC Uni, which purchased the network along with the private equity firm Blackstone Group, is merging the Weather Channel operations with its own Weather Plus. Weather Plus »

- By Paul J. Gough

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