Warner Bros. Discovery Is Shutting Down CNN+ After New Streaming Service Struggled To Attract Viewers: Report
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 28: A view of signage on display during the CNN+ Launch Event at PEAK NYC Hudson Yards on March 28, 2022 in New York City.
Noam Galai/Getty Images CNN+

Warner Bros. Discovery is reportedly shutting down CNN’s new subscription streaming service, CNN+, after the service experienced significant struggles in attracting an audience.

“Chris Licht, the incoming CEO of CNN, sent a memo to staffers Thursday morning about ‘an important meeting’ to be held at noon, and is at that time expected to inform staffer about the decision,” Variety reported. “Licht has already told Andrew Morse, the CNN executive vice president who oversees the newly-launched streaming-video outlet, of the decision.”

CNBC reported last week that fewer than 10,000 people were using CNN+ on a daily basis. The service only had roughly 150,000 total subscribers which was well short of the of 2 million subscribers that the network had hoped to hit within the first few years of the service’s launch.

“This decision is in line with WBD’s broader direct-to-consumer strategy,” Licht said in a statement. “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.”

The move comes after CNN’s parent company, AT&T’s WarnerMedia, was taken over by Discovery earlier this month.

“Blame bad timing, limited communications and misaligned incentives for how CNN and Discovery got strategically misaligned on such a massive product rollout,” Axios reported. “Fearing regulatory scrutiny, former WarnerMedia former parent AT&T and Discovery avoided direct communication about CNN’s strategy until the deal officially closed.”

Ex-WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, who left the company last week, pushed the launch of CNN+ before CNN merged with Discovery.

“It’s ahead of my expectations in terms of where the subscribers are, the engagement, the receptiveness that we’re getting in terms of people’s response to the journalists of CNN+,” he said. “I couldn’t be more proud of that team.”

Discovery executives are reportedly focused on moving CNN away from some of the inflammatory editorializing that is injected into its cable news programming and instead want the network to focus on hard news reporting.

CNN’s brand took another hit this week when former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said on Monday evening that he witnessed the far-left network try falsify news by causing conflict during the Ferguson, Missouri riots back in 2014.

Dorsey made the revelation in a response to a tweet from Miss Universe Iraq 2017 Sarah Abdali Idan who said, “Even @CNN sometimes sell false news. I know this from covering Iraq events in 2019. People need to understand every media is prone to either mistakes or deliberate corruption. Do your own investigation before believing what they’re selling you.”

Dorsey responded, “I know this from being on the streets of Ferguson during the protests and watching them try to create conflict and film it causing the protestors to chant ‘f*** CNN’.”

This report has been updated to include additional information.

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