Tuesday, May 24, 2022

TOTAL FAILURE: CNN+ is shutting down a month after launch

The new president of the network blames it on a new strategy after the merger with Warner Bros. Discovery, but the truth is that the streaming service had not even reached 10,000 users per day.

CNN’s streaming service is closing just one month after its launch. The network’s new president, Chris Licht, announced Thursday that the service will cease operations at the end of April.

CNN+ debuted when its parent company was still part of AT&T. Earlier this month it partnered with Discovery to form a new company, Warner Bros. Discovery, led by Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who had his own plans for CNN and Warner, as AP reports.

On Thursday, Licht claimed that consumers wanted “simplicity and an inclusive service” rather than “individual offerings.” Discovery had previously suggested it wanted to merge the new company’s streaming services, which include Discovery+ and HBO Max, into a single app.

Licht has explained that some CNN+ content will go to the company’s other networks, and employees of the streaming service will have the opportunity to apply for jobs at other Warner Bros. Discovery affiliates.

However, the head of CNN+, Andrew Morse, is leaving the company.

AT&T had allocated $100 million in costs and about 500 employees to the development of CNN+. And yet, as reported by various US media in recent weeks, the service had not even managed to reach 10,000 users per day. This seems a more plausible reason for CNN’s sudden change of strategy, beyond its merger.

“While today’s decision is incredibly difficult, it is the right one for the long-term success of CNN,” Chris Licht, the network’s incoming president, told staff.

This adventure, which was to become the first experiment in applying platform consumption methods to news and current affairs, has ended in a major failure that has led to CNN’s reversal barely a month after launching its platform.

Trump’s statement on CNN+ announcement

Former U.S. President Donald J. Trump released a statement Thursday on the CNN+ imminent shutdown:

“Congratulations to CNN+ on their decision to immediately FOLD for a lack of ratings, or viewers in any way, shape, or form. It was like an empty desert out there despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars and the hiring of low-rated Chris Wallace, a man who tried so hard to be his father, Mike, but lacked the talent and whatever else is necessary to be a star. In any event, it’s just one more piece of CNN and Fake News that we don’t have to bother with anymore!”

Source: New York Times