As CNN struggles to stay relevant in the post-Trump era, the liberal network has made a big deal out of its new streaming service, CNN+. But the project is turning out to be a total flop.
After a pitiful launch, CNN’s parent company is suspending all external marketing for the “doomed” service, Axios reported.
CNN+ is “doomed”
CNN’s new owners, Warner Bros. Discovery, are also laying off CNN’s chief financial officer. At CNN, executives “are frustrated that new leadership is moving quickly to dismantle what they see as an eventual lifeline for the cable network,” Axios reported.
But Discovery is not happy that CNN+ launched before Warner and Discovery completed their recent merger, Axios noted. CNN’s owners would rather have integrated CNN+ into HBO Max, the report said.
As Discovery moves ahead with the merger, they are looking to cut about $3 billion in costs, the Daily Mail reported.
Discovery executives are skeptical of the $5.99 per month service, which so far has just 150,000 subscribers. CNN was hoping for 2 million subscribers within a year and had planned to turn a profit in four years.
Axios previously reported that CNN was cutting millions of dollars from its initial investment target of $1 billion.
CNN to feature actual news?
Despite a $300 million investment, CNN+ is struggling to grab more than 10,000 viewers per day.
“We continue to be happy with the launch and its progress after only two weeks,” a CNN spokesperson recently said.
CNN has suffered a stark drop in ratings and a series of damaging scandals since President Trump left office. Discovery reportedly wants to steer CNN away from the extremely partisan programming that has dominated the channel in recent years and, instead, focus on providing actual news, Axios noted.
The outlet reported that execs want to replace Chris Cuomo’s 9 p.m. slot with a “live newscast,” noting that the “soft news” content on CNN+ “doesn’t align with Discovery’s broader vision for CNN.”
CNN’s woes are sure to leave Trump gloating. Trump detractor Chris Wallace, who left Fox for CNN+ last year, was said to be “irate” and “second-guessing” after former CNN boss Jeff Zucker’s February ouster. That was before CNN+’s lackluster launch. They don’t call it “the Trump curse” for nothing,