CNN Philippines to close due to financial losses

MANILA: CNN Philippines will stop operations from Jan 31 due to “significant financial losses”, its owner announced on Monday (Jan 29), in the latest blow for the media industry in the Southeast Asian nation.

The broadcaster began operating in the Philippines in 2015 as a franchise of CNN, delivering mainly English-language news on free-to-air, cable and pay television.

Staff were told Monday of the decision to shut down news and production operations on all platforms.

“The decision follows significant financial losses sustained over the past years, despite rigorous efforts to adapt and innovate in a rapidly evolving and challenging media landscape,” CNN Philippines-owner Nine Media Corporation said, without providing details.

“We are aware of the impact of this closure on our valued employees and talents, we assure all affected staff will be provided with severance packages.”

The closure will affect around 300 employees, a member of staff told AFP on the condition of anonymity.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said the closure meant “one less source of reliable information for the public at a time when disinformation and misinformation are rampant”.

Broadcasting giant ABS-CBN – a critic of then president Rodrigo Duterte – was forced to slash its operations in 2020 after advertising revenues were ravaged by the loss of its free-to-air licence.

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