CNN+ Is Headed to the Train Station

CNN+ Is Headed to the Train Station
AP Photo/Ron Harris

The entertainment publication Variety was on the pulse this morning, dropping this tease of a bombshell:

Warner Bros. Discovery is shutting down CNN+ and is expected to provide details to staffers Thursday, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Spokespersons for CNN and Warner Bros. Discovery could not be reached for immediate comment.

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, these people said. Licht has already told Andrew Morse, the CNN executive vice president who oversees the newly-launched streaming-video outlet, of the decision, these people said. Morse could not be reached for immediate comment.

It’s around that time on the East Coast now, and I would love to be a fly on the wall.

You love to see it.

It must have struck fear in Brian Stelter’s corpulent heart to have to post this:

In less than 10 days, an entire arm of this media empire will be driven to, “the Train Station.”

As my colleague Nick Arama reported, CNN+ had barely taken flight before the new management had it in their crosshairs.

With the launch of CNN+ seeming to have run aground — it has barely any viewers and that has Chris Wallace throwing tantrums — one has to wonder if that might get rethought and/or cut, too.

After less than a month, CNN+ was nowhere near 200,000 subscriptions.

Because, who wants 24-7 Chris Wallace, Don Lemon, or Jemele Hill. Seriously?!

Obviously, Chris Wallace is hardest hit. He can’t go back to Fox News with his tail between his legs. Or can he?

The handwriting was on the wall when Warner Bros. Discovery decided to pull the marketing dollars from CNN+.

In a move that manages to even frame Quibi’s epic 2020 failure in a more positive light, Warner Bros. Discovery has suspended all external marketing for CNN Plus, just three weeks after the subscription streaming service’s launch.


And as our media contributor Brad Slager reported on Tuesday, CNN’s new management would have preferred that a rollout for CNN+ never happened:

The new management team was not happy with the rollout of CNN+ ahead of the merger, but certain realities made a delay untenable, such as the amount of talent that had been signed at high prices and would then be on the sidelines getting paid to not produce content. What is clear is that CNN+ was not meeting projections, much of that partly due to unrealistic projections being set.

“Unrealistic,” like assuming they had an audience that would actually care.

So much wrong. But totally on brand for CNN.


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