CNN Producer Fired For Blogging

    February 21, 2008

CNN has fired television producer Chez Pazienza for blogging without the consent of the network.

Chez Pazienza, CNN Television Producer Fired
Chez Pazienza, CNN
(Photo Credit: Valleywag)

Pazienza started his blog in May 2006 while on medical leave after an operation to remove a brain tumor. During that time his blog gained popularity and he recently began blogging for The Huffington Post.

In a post Pazienza explains how he received a call from his boss Ed Litvak that eventually led to his firing. "Ed, seeming to channel Bill Lumburgh from Office Space, informed me of that which I was already very well aware: that my name was ‘attached to some, uh, ‘opinionated’ blog posts’ circulating around the internet. I casually admitted as much and was then informed of something I didn’t know: that I could be fired outright for this offense. 24 hours later, I was."

Pazienza says that one line in the CNN employee handbook was his undoing. The handbook states that any writing produced for a "non-CNN outlet" is required to be checked with the network’s standards and practices department. He says the rule is vague and did not specifically cover blogging.

"I told both my boss and HR representative that a network which prides itself on being so internet savvy — or promotes itself as such, ad nauseam — should probably specify blogging and online networking restrictions in its handbook," Pazienza writes.

Two things that seem hard to believe about CNN firing Pazienza is that it took them almost two years to discover his blogging and that the company does not have an official policy concerning such activity.