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CNN+ to close on April 30th, just one month after launch

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon on the open track during the International Auto Show press preview at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York on April 13, 2022.

Timothy A. Clary | AFP | Getty Images

Warner Bros. Discovery is shutting down CNN+ on April 30, just weeks after launching its standalone streaming service.

“It’s not a quality decision; We appreciate all the work, ambition and creativity that went into building CNN+, an organization of amazing talent and exciting programming,” said Chris Licht, Chairman and CEO of CNN Worldwide. “But our clients and CNN would be best served with a simpler streaming choice.”

The company also announced that CNN+ CEO Andrew Morse is leaving Warner Bros. Discovery after the transition period. Alex McCallum, currently General Manager of CNN+ and Head of Products, will take over CNN Digital following Morse’s departure.

WarnerMedia launched the standalone news service less than a month ago on March 29th. About two weeks after its launch, it was generating fewer than 10,000 daily active viewers, according to CNBC last week. The company said that customers will receive a pro rata refund of subscription fees.

New CNN head Chris Licht has been working behind the scenes with other Warner Bros. executives, according to a person familiar with the matter. Discovery in a few weeks to review the streaming strategy for CNN. The decision to shut down CNN+ is based on his recommendation, said the person, who asked not to be named because the discussions were private.

Licht will address CNN staff directly in a meeting on Thursday, People said. Licht’s official start date is May 1st.

CNN has already invested hundreds of millions of dollars in new talent and programs for CNN+. Some of these programs will move to HBO Max, while other series may appear on CNN.com, according to a person familiar with the changes. They said some new talent could take over the roles on CNN’s linear station, but Licht would make that decision in the coming weeks.

In an internal memo, Licht told CNN+ staff that they “will continue to receive pay and benefits for the next 90 days to explore opportunities at CNN, CNN Digital, and other parts of the Warner Bros. family.” discovery. a departing CNN+ employee will receive a minimum of six months’ severance pay (depending on length of service at CNN).”

Warner Bros. management Discovery wants to use CNN’s programming to support a larger streaming package that will bring together the best of WarnerMedia and Discovery, as CNBC previously reported.

On March 29, outgoing WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar stated in a series of tweets that CNN+ is “as important to CNN’s mission as the linear channel’s service has been for the past 42 years. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of this moment. for CNN.

In a month, almost to the day, CNN+ will cease to exist.

This is the latest news. Please stay tuned for updates.


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