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Warner Bros. Discovery said it will attempt to get CNN back into the streaming game a little more than a year after its streaming service CNN+ bombed after a month in operation.
The media conglomerate is calling its second try at a news streaming platform “CNN Max,” which is slated to launch on September 27. CNN Max will feature some of the network’s existing shows, including “Amanpour,” “Anderson Cooper 360,” “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” and “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” The Wall Street Journal reported. CNN Max will also launch new shows “CNN Newsroom with Jim Acosta, Rahel Solomon, Amara Walker and Fredricka Whitfield” and “CNN Newsroom with Jim Sciutto.”
Warner Bros. Discovery said the new streaming service would be different from the subscriber-based CNN+ in that it will be included in the MAX (formerly known as HBO MAX) streaming package at no additional cost to MAX subscribers.
“We have the broadest and highest quality entertainment offering, and now will include world-leading news as a meaningful addition for all Max subscribers, at no extra charge,” said JB Perrette, WarnerBros. Discovery CEO and president of Global Streaming and Games, according to The Hill.
In April 2022, Warner Bros. Discovery shut down CNN+ after less than a month in operation after the streaming service failed to attract subscribers. Fewer than 10,000 people were streaming CNN+ daily, according to CNBC, even after it signed former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace and gave him a show on the platform.
Then-incoming CEO Chris Licht said the “decision [to shut down CNN+] is in line with WBD’s broader direct-to-consumer strategy. 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.”
Licht stepped down from his position as CEO in June as the media company continued to struggle with attracting a large audience. The former CNN executive faced criticism from his employees after canceling CNN+. The past year for the legacy media outlet has been a rollercoaster. Familiar faces on the network, such as longtime journalist Brian Stelter and host Don Lemon, were axed under Licht’s reign, and the tumultuous leadership of Licht came to a boiling point when the network hosted a town hall with former President Donald Trump in May.