The news comes after Butler publicly expressed his concern, including an interview with TVNewser, over CNN’s hiring and employee retention practices of black journalists. CNN underwent a workforce reduction last week that saw the elimination of 300 positions. One of the highest profile mangers at CNN, New York Bureau Chief/VP and NABJ member Darius Walker, was among those cut.
“I understand the company has a right to make personnel decisions,” Butler says. “There were not that many African American managers at CNN in the first place. These layoffs have hurt our members tremendously. I am severely disappointed that CNN has ended our partnership.”
Network sponsorships are a major source of funding for journalism organizations like NABJ. The loss of CNN’s financial support will likely cost the group upwards of $10,000 and will mean CNN will not be representing at the the group’s career fair in Minneapolis next August.