Veteran Media Critic Brian Lowry to Exit CNN Amid Layoffs

Brian Lowry, the veteran Hollywood scribe and media critic who has worked at CNN as a senior writer since 2016, is set to exit the Warner Bros. Discovery-backed news outlet as part of a group of layoffs unveiled Wednesday.

The news outlet is cutting approximately 100 jobs as it works to boost its digital business. In a memo released to staffers Wednesday morning, CNN Chairman and CEO Mark Thompson spotlighted the need for CNN to devise new subscription-based digital products and indicated one would launch on by the end of 2024. He also unveiled plans to overhaul the newsroom, a move that he said would result in some cuts to CNN’s employee base, which numbers around 3,500.

More from Variety

Lowry holds deep knowledge of the television and studio business and an ability to discuss it with both wit and concision, qualities that have buoyed him over a long career also spent at Variety and The Los Angeles Times. In recent weeks, he has reviewed both the newest season of “The Bear” and the Pixar film “Inside Out 2”; written an obituary for actor Donald Sutherland; and offered new insight into the latest front in the the industry’s so-called “streaming wars” — a new turn toward the same type of bunding that benefitted cable.

When he first joined CNN, Lowry was part of a team of contributors working on the outlet’s influential “Reliable Sources” newsletter, a popular daily round-up and analysis of developments in the media space. In recent years, CNN has reduced the newsletter’s frequency and pared back the number of staffers working on it.

Lowry also has been a contributor to National Public Radio and, and was a co-host of TV Guide Network’s “Square Off,” a weekly talk program about the television business. He also has written two authorized companion guides to the Fox series “The X-Files.”

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.