Hearts are heavy this week, as tragic news from the media landscape washed over America like a tidal wave of grief, confusion and outrage.
CNN+ has folded.
The grandaddy of cable news announced last month they’d be starting up a premium streaming service aimed at serving up an extra dose of doom, gloom and Toobin boom boom for those discerning news watchers who just can’t get enough of the the 24-hour cable channel. Chris Wallace moved from Fox News to CNN expressly for the opportunity to be a defining personality at CNN+.
The rest is history. Literally. Bye, CNN+.
It was never going to work anyway. You don’t have to be a media genius to know that. CNN’s ratings have been in the tank for a long time, with the cable channel barely being able to break 900,000 viewers in many primetime slots. A combination of a “woke” agenda, blatantly fake news, and a nasty, chronic case of Trump Derangement System (along with Toobin’s troubles and Cuomo’s corruption) has robbed CNN of the well-earned credibility they’ve have since their ground-breaking inception. What was once a giant in reliable news has become a year-round Festivus celebration…nothing but grievances.
Well, everyone has grievances. And many of us go to cable news to have those grievances confirmed or exacerbated. Misery loves company. But misery doesn’t really love to pay for company. What exactly was it that CNN+ was offering their customers that would inspire anyone to pay for it? People don’t watch CNN because they want to be informed; they watch it because they want to be mad. Why would anyone pay for anger from CNN+ when they can get unlimited anger for free from CNN?
Which brings us to another reason why CNN+ was doomed from the start. Liberals don’t need to search for liberal/progressive content. It is everywhere. Our entire entertainment culture is steeped in it. Late night tv, sketch shows, films, sports, news programs. When Fox News says they’re “fair and balanced” they don’t mean they’re not partisan. They mean they’re a counterweight to the outsized influence of liberal media. There’s only one Fox News (and few imitations), but there are endless CNNs. You can turn on your favorite network news program any night of the week and hear the same progressive lingo you’ll hear over at CNN at any given moment. Pop culture in America currently skews left, and as a result we are completely enveloped. No one needs to pay for extra liberal content. We are currently oversaturated in liberal content.
Fox News succeeds because it tapped a neglected market. What market could CNN+ be going after?
CNN’s waning talent and progressive lunacy aside, there just wasn’t a base to support this idea. It is unsurprising that progressives don’t understand the economics of supply and demand. Perhaps they’ll learn a little lesson about that once they finish licking their wounds over this epic collapse.
But I won’t hold my breath.