CNN+ to shut down just three weeks after its launch

Amanda Salazar, Editor-in-Chief

The recently launched news streaming service called CNN+ will shut down on April 30, just one month since its launch, as was announced on April 21.

“This is not a decision about quality; we appreciate all of the work, ambition and creativity that went into building CNN+, an organization with terrific talent and compelling programming,” Chairman and CEO of CNN Worldwide Chris Licht said in a statement to CNBC. “But our customers and CNN will be best served with a simpler streaming choice.”

The streaming service launched on March 29, with the intent of allowing people without cable television subscriptions to still watch CNN programming. The platform aired old CNN series, like “Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain,” as well as original content made just for CNN+, such as “The Source with Kasie Hunt.”

Subscribers could also watch hours of live news reported by a news anchor, just like on CNN’s linear network channel on television.

“In my opinion, CNN+ is likely to be as important to the mission of CNN as the linear channel service has been these past 42 years,” former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar tweeted, when CNN+ was launched. “It would be hard to overstate how important this moment is for CNN.”

The streaming service came directly from the old leadership of CNN and its former parent company, WarnerMedia. Its development was spearheaded by former CNN CEO Jeff Zucker, who resigned from his position on Feb. 2, due to an undisclosed relationship with former CNN Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Allison Gollust, who later also resigned over their consensual relationship.

Zucker was the biggest proponent of the new streaming service, with WarnerMedia backing him.

Since WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc. officially merged on April 8 to create Warner Bros. Discovery Inc., multiple high ranking WarnerMedia executives resigned from their positions upon learning that their titles would all be taken over by Discovery executives.

Without CNN+’s largest supporters, it was hard for the streaming service to stand up against new Warner Bros. Discovery CEO — former Discovery CEO — David Zaslav, who was an opponent of the streaming service plan.

According to Discovery, it attempted other niche streaming services in the past, such as the Food Network Kitchen and GolfTV, but they all failed because people didn’t want to pay for lots of small, specified streaming platforms.

CNN+ will still run for its subscribers until April 30. Subscribers will receive prorated refunds.

At the time of its shutting down, CNN+ will have had 600 employees working on it, including a few notable news anchors who left other networks to have their own programs on the streaming service, such as Hunt and Chris Wallace.

It’s not certain what will happen to all the staff members, but they will have the opportunity to apply for other positions within CNN and Warner Bros. Discovery. Those who do not get hired for new jobs within the company will receive severance packages for six months after their lay off.