CNN Philippines, the localized CNN station launched in 2015 to much fanfare, will wind down its operations, Media Newser Philippines has learned.
According to sources who spoke to this media website on condition of anonymity, Nine Media Corp. and CNN have mutually agreed not to continue with their licensing agreement due to significant financial losses.
Originally, the said licensing deal, which this media website reported back in 2019, is set to expire by the end of this year. But Nine Media has had trouble keeping up with the licensing fee.
Additionally, the financial strain has been heightened by the lack of ad placement, adding to the overall difficulties for Nine Media in minimizing the losses. Ultimately, we were told, the best move is to shut down the network.
Despite CNN’s global name recognition, CNN Philippines has struggled to compete with its mainstream counterparts. This, coupled with the decline in ad revenue and increased operating costs, has posed a significant challenge for the local CNN station.
We have been told top talents such as Pia Hontiveros, Pinky Webb and Rico Hizon, who was recently named Best News Presenter at the 28th Asian TV Awards, have been informed about this development, and they are free to explore discussions with other potential employers this early.
In light of the shutdown, we have also learned that staffers and employees will receive separation pay.
CNN Philippines first aired in March 2015 with much promise and potential. At the time, it was the first international franchise to grace the local airwaves, followed by Bloomberg TV Philippines.
Initially led by former Nine Media President and CEO Reggie Galura and then-network SVP Jing Magsaysay, Armie Jarin-Bennett, a CNN veteran, took the reins as EVP in 2016, eventually becoming president until 2020. Under her tenure, the network saw a brief revival, transforming it into a more news-savvy organization that doubled down on breaking news and enterprise reporting.
Channel 9, as per sources, will revert back to RPN 9, at least for the time being, after the CNN branding concludes at the end of this month – a change already evident to its viewers with the recent airing of entertainment and sports programming, namely E.A.T. and the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Season 48.
Looking ahead, CNN is reportedly exploring various options, including the possibility of running its own operations in the country online in the near future.
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