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‘Explain The Business Strategy’: CNN Mocked Over Brian Stelter’s New Streaming Gig
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 12: Brian Stelter attends The 15th Annual CNN Heroes: All-Star Tribute at American Museum of Natural History on December 12, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN. A WarnerMedia Company. All Rights Reserved.)
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

Critics ripped into CNN after it was announced Thursday that “Reliable Sources” anchor Brian Stelter was slotted to host a daily version of his Sunday morning media show on the network’s upcoming streaming platform CNN+.

If you like his newsletter, you’ll love this show. CNN’s Chief Media Correspondent and Anchor, @BrianStelter, will be hosting Reliable Sources Daily on @CNNPlus this spring,” CNN’s communications division tweeted.

This will be an hour long daily show of Brian Stelter watching Fox News live and just commenting on it,” conservative commentator Stephen Miller predicted.

A Fox News article published Thursday pointed out the fact that Stelter’s Sunday show has been struggling to draw viewers, leading some critics to question the wisdom of moving him to a daily program:

The traditional version of Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” on CNN has gone 24 straight telecasts without cracking 900,000 viewer. The last time “Reliable Sources” managed to draw one million viewers was on Aug. 29, 2021, when CNN bounced between breaking news coverage of Hurricane Ida and Stelter’s program. 

During February alone, viewership for Stelter’s media affairs program is down 43% among total viewers and 65% among the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults age 25-54 through two episodes, compared to the same month in 2021. The ratings-challenged program has also gone back-to-back weeks averaging fewer than 100,000 demo viewers. 

“Someone needs to explain the business strategy of taking hosts that everyone can watch for free but few choose to, and putting them behind a paywall and believing people will now pay to watch the same people they ignore when offered for free,” independent journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

“If CNN’s collapsing ratings weren’t enough to elicit an agonizing reappraisal of their entire situation, the planned rollout of CNN+ surely is,” Grabien Media founder Tom Elliott told Fox News Digital. “Rather than using their new subscription-based platform to attempt something new and original that people might actually pay for, the leftover project of Jeff Zucker is instead doubling down on failure. For reasons that defy common sense, CNN apparently thinks that taking their least popular opinionists — Don Lemon & Brian Stelter most notably — and moving them into a less structured and more regular format, will somehow turnaround the network’s cratering business. If ever WarnerMedia needed to stage an intervention, now is that time. And I say this as a former CNN fan.”

CNN has been dealing with varying degrees of turmoil since it was first revealed last year that former prime time anchor Chris Cuomo was advising his brother, former Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) as he navigated numerous accusations of sexual harassment and assault. Cuomo was later fired after allegations against him surfaced as well, but the investigation into his actions also led to the abrupt exit of former CNN President Jeff Zucker and his paramour Allison Gollust — allegedly because they failed to disclose their personal relationship.

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