26 April 2022, Global News Network News. Warner Bros Discovery is shutting down CNN+ on April 30, just weeks after the stand-alone streaming service launched. CNN Plus was launched on March 29th 2022 as a new digital streaming service of the CNN cable television news network. When it was announced back in July 2021, it had been dubbed as “the evolution of video news and the start of a new era for the company.”
“This is not a decision about quality; we appreciate all of the work, ambition and creativity that went into building CNN+, an organization with terrific talent and compelling programming,” Chris Licht, Chairman and CEO of CNN Worldwide, said in a statement last week. “But our customers and CNN will be best served with a simpler streaming choice.
CNN+ customers “will receive prorated refunds of subscription fees,” the company said.
The decision is said to have been made by new management after CNN’s former parent company, WarnerMedia, merged with Discovery to form Warner Bros. Discovery earlier this month.
The prior management team’s vision for CNN+ goes against to Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s plan to house all of the company’s brands under one streaming service. Some CNN+ programming may eventually live on through that service. Other programming will shift to CNN’s main television network.
“In a complex streaming market, consumers want simplicity and an all-in service which provides a better experience and more value than stand-alone offerings, and, for the company, a more sustainable business model to drive our future investments in great journalism and storytelling,” Discovery’s streaming boss J.B. Perrette said in a statement.
“We have very exciting opportunities ahead in the streaming space and CNN, one of the world’s premier reputational assets, will play an important role there,” Perrette added.
Perrette and incoming CNN CEO Chris Licht notified staffers of the decision in a meeting where Licht is reported to have bluntly told employees it was a “uniquely shitty situation.”
Hundreds of CNN+ staffers may lose their jobs. Licht said in an internal memo that “all CNN+ employees will continue to be paid and receive benefits for the next 90 days to explore opportunities at CNN, CNN Digital and elsewhere in the Warner Bros. Discovery family.”
Staffers who aren’t absorbed elsewhere in the company will receive a minimum of six months of severance, he added.
The decision to shut down CNN+ just weeks after it launched marked a stunning end to the streaming news service that earlier, Executives had promoted the app as the most significant launch since Ted Turner founded CNN in 1980.
CNN had poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the new streaming app and lured top talent from other networks for it, including Kasie Hunt from NBC and Chris Wallace from Fox News.
The streaming service featured hours of daily live programming and weekly shows.
That programming will continue to stream through to the end of the month.
Source: CNBC, CNN