Turner reorganizing, workers expect cutbacks

Turner Broadcasting, one of Atlanta’s biggest corporate players, is likely to announce this fall some of the most significant company-wide job cuts in years.

Turner’s new CEO has issued two memos — the latest one last week — telling the company’s nearly 13,000 employees, about 6,500 work in Atlanta, that transformational changes are coming, including spending cuts. The memos didn’t say how many jobs might be at risk, but employees are telling friends they fear deep layoffs, and there is a fear chunks of the company could be shifted to New York or Los Angeles.

Blame it on TV. The coming hit is fallout from the evolution in what Americans watch and how they watch it, and from pressure to change what airs on some of the nation’s biggest cable networks, including Turner’s TNT and TBS.

John Martin, who became Turner’s chief executive in January, is telling workers: “We’ll start 2015 a more streamlined, nimble and efficient company,” and that every part of the business is being scrutinized to reduce spending and maximize growth and profitability.

Beyond cutting support staff, there likely will be tension over whether more of the financial pain will be borne by the entertainment side versus CNN, which has long struggled with weak ratings, and international operations. CNN is a prestige company to the region, an operations that put Atlanta on the international map.

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