Add New Day executive producer Matt Frucci to your list of CNN contributions to Turner’s massive workforce cut, aka Turner 2020. Frucci joined CNN in October 2012 as executive producer in charge of program development, where he helped develop and launch new shows for the cable news net, including The Lead With Jake Tapper, before being named exec producer of New Day in late March 2013. Frucci was one of several people poached from ABC News by CNN chief Jeff Zucker as he was looking to overhaul the cable news network’s lineup. Frucci spent nearly a dozen years at ABC News; at the time of his exit, he was senior broadcast producer in charge of the weekend edition of Good Morning America.
Several CNN shows got caught in the downsizing last week. The network officially drove a stake in its exhumed Crossfire, Sanjay Gupta MD was given last rites while Gupta and team focus on breaking news (ditto Elizabeth Cohen, as the network’s medical unit is restructured, because it’s a hot beat right now). CNN Money With Christine Romans was declared toast; she remains anchor of Early Start and the network’s chief business correspondent. And, Unguarded With Rachel Nichols is history; she will continue as the network’s sole sports anchor, contributing across all platforms and hosting primetime specials. Nichols also continues her role with Turner sports.
All told, CNN, which is struggling to reinvigorate itself ratings-wise, is cutting 300 — including 130 voluntary buyouts — equal to about 8% of its workforce. Last week when the cuts began, CNN said “The changes…are difficult yet necessary” adding that it would not comment on specific people or programs “out of respect for our colleagues directly impacted.” So it’s no surprise CNN had no comment today on word about Frucci.
The news operation had been braced for big cuts: Turner Broadcasting CEO John Martin alerted his company on October 6 that they’d face 1,475 losses “at all levels from across the company’s news, entertainment, kids, young adult and sports networks and businesses, as well as corporate functions, in 18 Turner locations around the world.”