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Warner Bros. Discovery
CNN+ debuted March 29 after months of hiring, production work and heavy promotion. On April 21, after Zaslav took control with the merger of Warner and Discovery, it was announced CNN+ would end, and hundreds of employees would likely lose their jobs. “We looked at it, and we looked at the data, the number of users,” Zaslav said Wednesday on CNBC’s Squawk Box. “They had spent an enormous amount of money trying to sell an independent product. The subscribers weren’t there. The users weren’t there…when we looked at the data, the business wasn’t there.”
Fewer than 10,000 people were viewing CNN+ daily in the weeks that the platform was in production according to CNBC, well short of the network’s hopeful projections—and statements released to the media. “We continue to be happy with the launch and its progress after only two weeks,” a spokesperson for CNN+ said in April.
The New York Times
Zaslav was unwilling to pour any more money into the streaming platform. He told CNBC that he is, however, bullish on the CNN brand, which he sees as the most trusted source for news in a marketplace of “advocacy” networks. “I think there’s a very big lane for CNN. I think people…are looking for a place where people aren’t yelling and giving opinions, and they’re looking for more news.”