CNN Plus is shutting down only a month after it launched

Thursday, April 21, 2022
author picture Alice Dupont
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Original content created by news.limited staff

CNN Plus is Shutting Down Only a Month After It Launched

CNN+ has failed to convince customers to pay $5.99 a month to access its streaming service. Its flagship program‚ Chris Cuomo's daily interview show‚ struggled to make subscribers. And while the hiring freeze has since been lifted‚ no other major changes have been made to its management. In a statement‚ Warner Bros. Discovery said that there are a number of reasons why CNN+ has been unable to sustain profitability.

CNN+ has struggled to convince customers to pay $5.99 monthly

After the launch of its streaming service‚ CNN+‚ the company's first original show‚ has been a flop. While CNN spent millions on ad campaigns‚ attracting marquee names like Chris Wallace from Fox News and former NPR co-host Audie Cornish from NBC‚ it has been struggling to convince consumers to pay $5.99 for a monthly subscription. CNN has asked production companies to create docuseries for its new service. WarnerMedia‚ which owns CNN‚ may bundle its new streaming service with other services‚ like HBO Max‚ Discovery+‚ and CNBC. WarnerMedia is also expected to merge with Discovery‚ which owns the Food Network. If this happens‚ the travel programming on CNN+ could be at odds with the content of Discovery. WarnerMedia is also in negotiations with streaming devices and internet providers to make CNN+ more accessible. The company's executives have been frustrated with CNN's leadership for not launching CNN+ sooner. In addition‚ some of the anchors have already made the jump from CNN main channel to CNN Plus. Sara Sidner‚ for example‚ moved from Los Angeles to New York to host a CNN Plus show. CNN staffers called her decision mind-blowing‚ and several employees have expressed confusion over the company's strategy. While traditional broadcast viewership has dropped significantly from a year ago‚ the streaming service has struggled to attract new viewers. It also recently fired its top-rated anchor‚ Chris Cuomo. Meanwhile‚ other streaming video services like Netflix and Hulu have struggled to captivate consumers with current events. In addition to the news channel‚ CNN is betting on big personalities to draw customers. In addition to hiring prominent names in the news industry‚ CNN is hoping to attract viewers with a broad range of programming.

Its flagship was arguably Chris Cuomo's daily interview show

If you've watched any of Cuomo's shows on the network‚ you know he's a bit opinionated. This chemistry is obvious as soon as you start an interview with him. The Democrat is notoriously competitive and he once reportedly played basketball against Mario Cuomo's staffers when he was 19. In other words‚ Chris is fiercely competitive. Also‚ he's the brother and nephew of Andrew and Mario Cuomo‚ so it's only natural that he'd be competitive with his siblings. During the pandemic‚ Cuomo was a regular guest on CNN and his brother's show. In addition to covering Andrew Cuomo's health crisis‚ the governor and his brother fought back on CNN by appearing on the same show. After the COVID-19 pandemic broke‚ Cuomo and his brother were featured on the show in buddy comedy segments‚ which CNN used to boost his brother's image. They compared noses and looks‚ and even brought out a giant prop cotton swab. The show was a popular program for New Yorkers and CNN kept Chris on air. In addition to reporting on Andrew Cuomo's sexual harassment scandal‚ Cuomo focused on topics such as the coronavirus vaccination. He also said he was proud to talk to his brother on a regular basis. The two had a very good rapport and had been on the air together for more than seven years. In the last week‚ Cuomo's brother resigned from the governor's position‚ which puts him in close proximity to CNN's coverage of that story. His testimony on CNN could paint the network in a negative light. As a result‚ it's unclear if he will step down as governor later this month. However‚ his brother's resignation from the governor's office highlights the difficulties of separating personal and professional life.

Its executive vice president is expected to leave Warner Bros. Discovery

It's hard to know why CNN+ is shutting down only a month after its launch. The network's executives had hoped to turn CNN+ profitable within four years‚ but the company is now knee-capping itself‚ eliminating executives from high-level positions at WarnerMedia. Executives declined to comment‚ and WarnerMedia CEO Chris Licht has publicly advocated for a new streaming service‚ HBO Max. Warner Bros. Discovery‚ which owns CNN‚ invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Quibi and recruited top talent from the company. But the new streaming service hasn't been able to get traction. After launching in April 2020‚ it hasn't been able to attract audiences‚ and the company has had to cut the marketing budget in order to pay down the debt. The shutdown is a blow to the company's reputation and its brand‚ but Warner Bros. Discovery executives may take heart in the fact that Quibi lost $2 billion. Though CNN+ has largely failed‚ the company invested a $100 million into it and assigned 500 employees to the new service. One CNN staffer asked why AT & T was allowed to create CNN+‚ as the company was the previous corporate owner of CNN. The executives said they weren't involved in the project until after they took over. They also blamed previous management for the failed launch of CNN+. In the wake of the failure of CNN+‚ the company is looking for ways to revamp its digital strategy and attract new viewers. CNN+'s streaming strategy was largely successful in the short term‚ but the long-term success of the venture has been questionable. Warner Bros. Discovery's new plans don't seem to fit with CNN+‚ so it's expected to shut down this new service in May. Additionally‚ CNN boss Chris Licht is leaving the company to take on a new role in another media company.

Its hiring freeze has been lifted

A month after CNN+ launched‚ a streaming service owned by Warner Bros. Discovery is shutting down operations of the streaming service. CNN+ was originally expected to last a few months‚ but its executives are claiming that the service is the future of CNN. CNN executives also claimed that some CNN+ programming would be absorbed into other networks. The service's closure will impact 500 people. The decision to shutter CNN+ is not a reflection on the service's quality. However‚ it will have repercussions with potential employees and personnel. The company needs to earn back trust from its customers and employees. The network is not alone in this situation. It is not clear how the new leadership at Warner Bros. Discovery will respond to the news. But CNN will have to work to rebuild trust before it can move forward. The decision to shutter CNN+ is surprising given its early performance. The service launched to a mixed response and boasted between 100‚000 and 150‚000 subscribers in the first two weeks. In addition‚ it boosted the number of viewers of CNN's media-affairs program‚ 5 Things‚ and landed a prestigious interview with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. But the abrupt shutdown has a cost. It will cost CNN billions. The failure of CNN+ is a testament to the lackluster response from consumers. The streaming service was the company's most expensive product launch since founder Ted Turner launched CNN in 1980. The news network poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the project‚ and signed top talent from rival networks. Quibi‚ meanwhile‚ closed operations at the end of 2020‚ owing to lackluster response from consumers.

It will receive prorated refunds of subscription fees

Following a short period of trial‚ CNN+ is ending its services on April 30. The service was designed as an all-in-one streaming service that offers more content‚ a better user experience‚ and a more sustainable business model than competing stand-alone offerings. The decision to shut down the service is based on the recommendations of the company's CEO‚ Ted Licht. While Licht is due to start as CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery on May 1‚ the company has said that it is evaluating its streaming strategy. While it's not clear what caused the demise of CNN+‚ the company did hold a town hall meeting with employees on Thursday. One staffer said the decision was a blow for the team. He likened the situation to trying to build a house without the owners. In addition‚ he referred to the company's painful history of trying to launch smaller streaming services focusing on sports‚ food‚ and cars. Subscriptions to the new service will be prorated‚ since its service will no longer exist after April 30. Subscribers will receive prorated refunds of their subscription fees. If you have already subscribed to CNN+‚ you can still get a refund. If you subscribe to CNN+ before that date‚ you'll get a full refund. This is one of the few negative aspects of CNN+. It will be interesting to see what will happen to all the money you've invested in the service. Despite the turbulence‚ CNN will continue to play an important role in the streaming space. In fact‚ Warner Bros. Discovery said it is unlikely to shut down CNN+ after all. As CNN's premier reputational asset‚ the news channel is expected to play a key role in the streaming space. The rumors were true: the company lowered the budget for CNN+ and will be handing all subscribers a pro-rated refund.