28 Other Positions Also Axed

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NEW YORK ( -- As AOL Time Warner's new top management team takes over, CNN laid off several prominent news personalities -- Roger Cossack, Joie Chen and Bill Tush -- in a round of approximately 30 layoffs Friday.

Shows Burden of Proof, which Mr. Cossack hosted with Greta Van Susteren, NewsSite with Ms. Chen, Showbiz This Weekend with longtime host Bill Tush and Travel Now have all been canceled, though none had run since Sept. 11.

A CNN spokeswoman said the layoffs were not "financially motivated" but are part of new CNN Chairman-CEO Walter Isaacson's goal of using more prominent personalities more visibly, such as new hires Paula Zahn and Aaron Brown.

Ms. Van Susteren will continue to host her show The Point in prime time. Mr. Cossack and Ms. Van Susteren rose to prominence during CNN's coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial.

Three on-air weather personalties were among those laid off.

CNN began the year by laying off 400 employees but still employs some 4,000.

Earlier this week, AOL Time Warner's CEO, Gerald Levin, said he would step down and would be replaced by Richard Parsons as CEO; Bob Pittman was named chief operating officer.

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