TACLOBAN CITY– Filipino journalists have been devastated again following the closure of predominantly English-language media outfit CNN Philippines on January 29, 2024, some three years after the closure of another giant broadcast company ABS-CBN.
“It is with heavy heart that we share the difficult news that we will stop news production operations as a result of serious financial losses,” CNN Philippines President Benjamin Ramos said in a post by one of their reporters on X, formerly Twitter.
“We thank you for delivering news that are fair, accurate, and balanced. You have rightfully earned the trust of Filipinos and we sincerely thank all of you for that,” Ramos told the company employees.
CNN Philippines, which started operation under the management of Nine Media Corporation (NMC) on March 16, 2015, reportedly incurred losses of over P5 billion.
The local franchise holder company however assured that it will provide severance packages to its 300 workers and talents.
“This is very saddening news because aside from the country losing a source of news due to the closure of CNN Philippines, it will also result in the losses of jobs to many employees,” Tacloban City-based journalist Roel Amazona, 43, who worked as CNN Philippines stringer.
“Since 2013, I’ve been working with them as news talent, providing them with regional stories from Eastern Visayas. It was a privilege and honor to work as news talent for CNN Philippines, and work with their staff on big coverage,” Amazona, who also writes for Leyte Samar Daily Express, added.
Stanley Buenafe Gajete, who previously worked for two years at CNN Philippines, also expressed his solidarity with his former colleagues.
“I am forever grateful and honored to be part of this strong broadcast team in the country. So much learning. Mahal kita (I love you), CNN Philippines. Hugs to all former colleagues,” Gajete said.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, the largest media group that supports the welfare of the Philippine media, also hoped that the company “will help its media workers through the transition and hope as well that our colleagues will get to come back to the profession as soon as possible.”
“The loss of another newsroom means one less source of reliable information for the public at a time when disinformation and misinformation are rampant,” it said.
(RONALD O. REYES)