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Zucker says pandemic led to end of CNN Airport Network

Zucker says pandemic led to end of CNN Airport Network

CNN President Jeff Zucker in a memo sent to staff on Tuesday blamed the coronavirus pandemic for causing the end of the CNN Airport Network after 30 years of operation. 

Zucker announced that the network, which aired in 54 airports in the U.S. and Bermuda, will stop its business “as of March 31,” citing the pandemic’s disruption of air travel in the U.S. and the world. 

He also cited that travelers have turned to streaming news on their personal devices. 

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“The steep decline in airport traffic because of COVID-19, coupled with all the new ways that people are consuming content on their personal devices, has lessened the need for the CNN Airport Network,” Zucker said in the memo obtained by The Hill. 

“Having to say goodbye to such a beloved brand is not easy,” he continued. “I want to thank our friends and colleagues who have contributed to its success and to celebrate the fact that for 30 years, the CNN Airport Network has kept millions of domestic travelers informed. It also became an iconic part of the traveling experience in the country.”

People briefed on the matter told the Los Angeles Times the CNN Airport Network, supported by ads, was no longer considered profitable. The shutdown will result in layoffs for about two dozen employees at CNN’s Atlanta headquarters. 

The CNN Airport Network first was launched in 1990.

Air travel has plummeted during the pandemic, although the Transportation Security Administration counted that millions boarded planes on the days near Thanksgiving and Christmas.