This is a breaking story. I will add more later.
CNN+, the streaming service that was hyped as one of the most significant developments in the history of CNN, will shut down on April 30, just one month after it launched.
The decision was made by new management after CNN’s former parent company, WarnerMedia, merged with Discovery to form Warner Bros. Discovery.
David Zaslav, the chief executive of Warner Bros. Discovery, has said that he wants to house all of the company’s brands under one streaming service. Some CNN+ programming may eventually live on through that service.
Discovery wanted WarnerMedia to not launch CNN+ until after the merger. It upset Discovery CEO David Zaslov because he wants everything in one package:
The prior management team’s vision for CNN+ runs counter to Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s plan to house all of the company’s brands under one streaming service. Some CNN+ programming may eventually live on through that service. Other programming will shift to CNN’s main television network.
“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, and, for the company, a more sustainable business model to drive our future investments in great journalism and storytelling,” Discovery’s streaming boss J.B. Perrette said in a statement.
“We have very exciting opportunities ahead in the streaming space and CNN, one of the world’s premier reputational assets, will play an important role there,” Perrette added.
Perrette and incoming CNN CEO Chris Licht notified staffers of the decision in a meeting on Thursday afternoon. Licht bluntly told employees it was a “uniquely shitty situation.”
Perrette made some snide remarks toward the previous leadership, which includes Jeff Zucker:
During the town hall, Perrette expressed some frustration with the “prior leadership” of CNN, which was led by Jeff Zucker until February, and WarnerMedia, which was led by Jason Kilar until early April.
“Some of this was avoidable,” he said, but “prior leadership decided to just keep going” with the planned March launch of CNN+ despite the impending merger, he said.
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