CNN just dealt a crushing blow to former Fox News host Chris Wallace and will shut down the just-launched direct-to-consumer streaming service CNN+. CNN will cease all operations of the failed streaming service on April 30th.
CNN employees were informed of the decision Thursday by incoming CNN CEO Chris Licht. Andrew Morse, the CNN digital executive who led the launch of CNN+, will leave the company. CNN executive Alex MacCallum, who had been CNN+’s GM, has been tapped to lead CNN Digital
Licht said in a statement: “As we become Warner Bros. Discovery, CNN will be strongest as part of WBD’s streaming strategy which envisions news as an important part of a compelling broader offering along with sports, entertainment, and nonfiction content.
“We have therefore made the decision to cease operations of CNN+ and focus our investment on CNN’s core news-gathering operations and in further building CNN Digital.
“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. But our customers and CNN will be best served with a simpler streaming choice,” he said.
Axios reported earlier:
Warner Bros. Discovery has suspended all external marketing spend for CNN+ and has laid off CNN’s longtime chief financial officer as it weighs what to do with the subscription streaming service moving forward, five sources tell Axios.
Why it matters: Inside CNN, executives think the launch has been successful. Discovery executives disagree.
CNN+ has roughly 150,000 subscribers so far.
Warner Bros. Discovery wants to eventually build one giant service around HBO Max.
New leadership has replaced CNN CFO Brad Ferrer with Neil Chugani, Discovery’s current CFO for streaming and international, as part of a broader finance team restructuring.
Other high-level positions at WarnerMedia across different business functions are likely to be eliminated to cut costs and streamline leadership in coming weeks.
YIKES: CNN’s new parent company set to shut down #CNNPlus just weeks after rolling it out. Wonder what happens to all the talent they hired for this project. #StreamingWarContinues #Media https://t.co/bgy74Ix7lx— Stephon Dingle WLKY (@Stephon_Dingle) April 21, 2022