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CNN Philippines to stop operations January 31

CNN Philippines is set to shut down its operations starting Wednesday, January 31, due to “significant” financial losses reported in the past years, its operator Nine Media Corp. (NMC) announced Monday.

NMC said it will discontinue its news and production operations on all media platforms branded as CNN Philippines, days after its chairman D. Edgard Cabangon confirmed that the termination of the franchise deal with CNN International was already delayed from as early as last year.

“The decision follows significant financial losses sustained over the past years, despite rigorous efforts to adapt and innovate in a rapidly evolving and challenging media landscape,” NMC said in an emailed statement on Monday, nearly nine years after debuting on free TV..

This comes as NMC’s financial positions were earlier flagged by independent auditor Reyes Tacandong & Co., which said its conditions indicate a “material uncertainty which may cast a significant doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

Based on NMC’s financial statements in the past years, NMC incurred a net loss of P231.4 million in 2021, and P239.7 million in 2022. It also recorded a capital deficiency of P226.2 million in 2021, and P465.2 million in 2022.

“We are aware of the impact of this closure on our valued employees and talents, we assure all affected staff will be provided with severance packages,” NMC said, but did not elaborate.

“We express our deepest appreciation to our dedicated team for their unwavering commitment over the years that has elevated CNNPH as a trusted source of news and information in the Philippines,” it added.

News of CNN Philippines’ folding broke out last Thursday, January 25, after NMC and CNN Worldwide agreed to discontinue their licensing deal as fees paid to Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific Inc. to continue carrying the CNN brand stood at P139.3 million in 2022, up from P108.09 million in 2021.

The brand and content license deal was initially entered into in October 2014, and was originally set to end in 2019. This was then renewed for another five years until December 31, 2024.

While NMC saw its revenue grow to P407.3 million in 2022 from P389.3 million in 2021, cost of services increased to P514.88 million from P482.7 million the previous year.

Aside from license fees, other expenses include P83.4 million for airtime and satellite costs, and P131.4 million for general and administrative expenses.

CNN Philippines was launched in 2015 by Turner Broadcasting and NMC as a predominantly English language free-to-air news channel and website.

“With the conclusion of CNNPH’s operations, we would like to extend our profound gratitude to our partner, CNN Worldwide/Turner Broadcasting Corporation for their support and understanding,” CNN Philippines said.

“To our loyal viewers, thank you for giving us purpose. We are honored to have served you,” it added. —KG, GMA Integrated News