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Strategic HR Management

The challenge:

You have been hired by the CNN Board of Directors to be an HR consultant because the company is still dealing with the aftermath of it’s troubled year under the leadership of former CEO Chris Licht. 

The year he worked for CNN included layoffs, declining profits, historically low ratings, poor performance of its streaming service CNN+ and controversial issues with two prominent anchors (Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon) who have been fired. Employee morale is rock bottom. Your advice to the Board of Directors needs to address the following:

1. From a strategic HR perspective – what should happen in the near term (next 6 months).  Keep your strategy focused on tasks that are within the purview of an HR department.

2. In terms of recruitment & selection of employees (from writers and camera crews to producers and anchors ), which roles are you most in need of and what do you do to attract a diverse talent pool that will help keep CNN in the mix as a strong player in television news?

3. What about compensation & benefits? Are employees paid appropriately? What might a new compensation/motivation/incentive program look like for CNN?  Should it vary by role?

4. What should change regarding training & development and performance management to improve the retention of employees?

5. CNN is one of a few news agencies whose writers haven’t unionized, but the threat is there. What should management consider doing for their writers to help ensure they stay non-union?

6. What other suggestions do you have to improve the overall well-being of CNN as a global company from an HR perspective?
REMEMBER – this is about your HR advice to the Board – not a summary of what happened under Chris Licht’s leadership.  They already know all of that

What do I mean by solid research?

You should have at least 7 different sources . reputable sources – such as their corporate website, a TedTalk,, the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), or a business magazine like Forbes, Inc., etc.

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