CNN Worldwide Chief Jeff Zucker has sought to calm Atlanta staffers after a report that a man had phoned multiple threats to the cable news network’s Atlanta operation, saying he was heading there to “gun” them all down because they are “Fake News.”
In a memo to staff Zucker said he would address the threat and increased security, at his regular weekly broadcast company “town hall” [you can read it below].
FBI arrested the man at his home in the Detroit area last week. CNN on Monday issued a statement: statement saying, “We take any threats to CNN employees or workplaces, around the world, extremely seriously” and “have been in touch with local and federal law enforcement throughout, and have taken all necessary measures to ensure the safety of our people.”
On Sunday, April Ryan, told CNN’s media pundit Brian Stelter that, in the President Donald Trump era, news outlets have “the FBI and local police on speed dial” for death threats against reporters, “for asking questions and reporting.” She counted herself among those who have received death threats.
From Zucker’s email about the “significant security threat that was aimed at our employees at the CNN Center in Atlanta earlier this month”:
I want to make sure you all know that we were in close contact with local and federal law enforcement from the moment the threats were made, throughout the entire investigation, and up until the suspect was arrested last week. We continue to remain in contact with them about this matter.
I know the details of this will seem frightening to some of you, and I understand. I can tell you that, at no time, as these phone calls came in did the federal law enforcement officials feel that there was an immediate threat of danger to any of our employees. With that said, we still stepped up our security procedures in Atlanta and elsewhere, as a precautionary measure.
Sadly, this is part of the reality we live in, as members of the media. I want to assure you that at every level of this company, nothing is more important than your safety. While you know we don’t talk publicly about security measures, let me assure you that we have addressed this situation.
I have a regularly scheduled broadcast town hall on Thursday at 1pm ET. I’ve asked Jeff Gilbert, who heads up Turner Security, to join me to update all of us, with as much detail as he reasonably can, on security at CNN. Please join me then, and send me your questions in advance or during the town hall.