Staff at CNN’s short-lived broadcast service CNN+ have been left “panicked and angry” by management after the decision to terminate service after just three weeks – calling it an “absolute disaster”.
CNN’s new CEO Chris Licht – who didn’t formally take over until May 2 – told employees Thursday that CNN+ will be ending.
The service only began on March 29, and producers have drawn in talent including former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, MSNBC’s Cassie Hunt, actress Eva Longoria, and chef Alison Roman.
The death of CNN+ was gleefully greeted by Fox News personalities, such as Greg Gutfeld, as well as the network’s critics including Donald Trump and his son.
Insiders estimated that the network spent $300 million on all and between $100 million and $200 million to advertise. CNN was planning to spend more than $1 billion on CNN+ over four years, two people familiar with the matter said. New York times.
David Zaslav, who since the beginning of this month has led the newly merged mega-media giant, was expected to bring about changes.
But one of the veteran employees said Washington Post: “We were expecting them to cut off a few fingers, not their entire arm.”
David Zaslav, President and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, took over the newly merged media company on April 8.
Chris Wallace, 74, joined Fox News in 2003 and left to do a show on CNN+. His former colleagues rejoiced at the collapse of his new home
CNN+ stars including Kasie Hunt (3rd on the left), Chris Wallace (next to Hunt) and Anderson Cooper (3rd on the right) were seen on March 28 to celebrate the launch of the streaming service.
The new streaming service was heavily advertised, but only had 150,000 subscribers
The 300 employees who had already started working at CNN+ were mired in anger by Thursday’s announcement – despite the network saying it would try to transfer them to open jobs at the company.
layoffs for people who have not been appointed to new jobs are likely; According to reports, they will receive at least six months of termination of service.
Many within the service felt they did not get a chance.
“A lot of people quit their stable jobs at CNN to go to CNN+ and then pulled it off right after launch?” source said New York Post.
“Everyone is panicked and angry.”
Sarah Seidner, who moved from Los Angeles to New York to host CNN+, told Thursday’s meeting that the decision to end the show soon was “amazing.”
Another source complained to the newspaper: “The big guys are more likely to be saved, but what about everyone else, the people doing the real work?”
Another was more rude.
This is madness, this is madness.
“This literally rivals Quibi’s epic disaster,” the source said, referring to the short-lived streaming platform that went out of business seven months after its launch in April 2020.
Licht announced the news Thursday at a meeting in a television studio on the 19th floor of CNN’s New York headquarters.
After speaking according to Washington PostSarah Seidner, a long-time CNN reporter who moved from Los Angeles to New York to host CNN Plus, stood up and told the stunned crowd, “This is amazing, to be perfectly honest.”
She later tweeted: “It’s over. It’s been an amazing shortest ride for the #CNNPlus team.
Hunt, who was tempted to leave MSNBC with a million-dollar contract, tweeted: “The journalists I have had the privilege of working with on CNN Plus are world class.
I am very proud to be able to call them colleagues.
If your organization would like to have the opportunity to take advantage of their talents, my line managers are open
This is *working* for the foreseeable future.
She added, “(Some of you are asking about me. I’m proud to be on the CNN team. I’ll be fine. It’s not about me now.)
The sources said the post that CNN “exceeded talent spending” by awarding Wallace $9 million annually.
It is now believed that he will likely take a position at 9 PM on CNN, which was left vacant following the sacking of Chris Cuomo in December.
Donald Trump was among those who celebrated the demise of the new CNN project.
“Congratulations to CNN+ for its decision to immediately pass on a lack of ratings or viewers in any way, shape, or form,” Trump said in a statement released Thursday.
It was like an empty desert despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars and hiring low-rated Chris Wallace, a man who tried so hard to be his father, Mike, but lacked the talent and anything else necessary to be a star.
“Anyway, it’s just one more piece of CNN and Fake News we don’t have to care about anymore!”
His son, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a satirical meme, featuring Ghana’s famous dancing pallbearers, with the CNN logo on the coffin.
CNN+’s illustrious launch party was just three weeks ago, on March 28
Greg Gutfeld, Fox News host, joked repeatedly on Thursday about CNN’s demise.
The Fox News hosts were also gloating about their rival network’s struggles.
Greg Gutfeld joked repeatedly about the situation Thursday, commenting during a debate on Democratic Party leaders: “The Democratic bench is thinner than the CNN+ pilot’s Chris Wallace reel.”
He later added: “The BLM has done to blacks what Chris Wallace did for CNN+. He seduced them with a promise and then abandoned them by the side of the road.
In another, he joked, “A lot of these solutions that come from the left are unreliable, there are solar panels or windmills. Look at CNN+, how much money they invested in wind energy by hiring Chris Wallace.”
During the latter segment, Gutfeld aired a clip of a bison roaming the city.
“I haven’t seen a celebrity in a while,” he began. As we know, CNN+ has closed its doors, so you see a lot of their talent on the street.
“For example, I just looked at Sixth Avenue, and who’d you see hanging out in front of a bar? Nothing but, guess? Chris Wallace, just wandering around.
Licht told employees that the decision to close the streaming service was not due to any failure in their park.
The service has attracted 150,000 subscribers so far, paying $5.99 a month, and was on track to meet its first year subscription goals.
CNN+ has not been able to show the same news programming as CNN, due to existing contracts with cable television service providers. But they encouraged co-stars like Anderson Cooper to get involved in the parenting show, and introduced Don Lemon to a talk show.
However, CNN’s new parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery – which was officially formed from the merger on April 8 – was unaffected by the numbers.
Two people familiar with the numbers told that at any one time, less than 10,000 people were watching the service New York times.
“It’s not your fault that you pulled the rug out from under you,” Licht said Thursday, according to a recording seen by the newspaper.
So the new owner came in and said: What a beautiful house! But I need an apartment.
And that doesn’t take anything away from this beautiful home I built. I’m proud of that, I’m proud of this team, and I’m amazed at what this means to you.
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