CNN refused to deny a report that the company is bracing for layoffs as soon as May due to subpar subscription signups for its brand new CNN+ streaming service.
Fox Business News’ Charles Gasparino reported on Wednesday that CNN+, a $120 million venture that launched yesterday, is already failing and may not survive on its own for much longer.
‘CNN + employees bracing for layoffs possibly as soon as May amid projections of lackluster sales of new streaming channel; CNN employees say new streaming channel could be merged into larger Discovery+ as early as May unless subscriptions pick up,’ Gasparino wrote on Twitter.
CNN officials rebuked statements that the launch of their streaming service was unsuccessful, but did not provide information oh how many subscribers CNN+ currently has nor deny that possible layoffs were in store in the near future.
‘We are very happy with the launch of CNN+ and look forward to its long success ahead,’ a CNN spokesperson told DailyMail.com.
Fox Business News’ Charles Gasparino reported on Wednesday that CNN+, a $120 million venture that launched yesterday, is already failing
The streaming service launched on Tuesday following a big gala event on Monday in New York City. It featured some of the talent brought into the show (L-R) Ken Jautz, Andrew Morse, Kasie Hunt, Chris Wallace, Rex Chapman, Anderson Cooper, Amy Entelis, and Michael Bass
Andrew Morse, head of CNN Plus, (pictured) said the new service would prove to have its own challenges, but that he was optimistic about its future success in the world of streaming
CNN officials rebuked statements that the launch of their streaming service was unsuccessful, including CNN Head of Strategic Communications Matt Dornic, but the company did not deny that possible layoffs were in store in the near future
CNN+, a $5.99-per-month streaming service, represents the media outlets step into the world of streaming, similar to how Fox launched its own Fox Nation streaming service in 2018.
CNN says that its new streaming service will feature live daily news programming, original series, true crime shows and food and travel docuseries.
The service made waves as it brought on big names to help it in the competitive world of streaming, grabbing Fox News’ Chris Wallace and MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt to host new shows on their platform.
Hunt told The Washington Post that the move to streaming was an obvious step in the right direction.
‘My parents don’t even pay for cable,’ Hunt said. ‘I just think that this way of watching television is the future, and that’s why it felt like kind of a no-brainer to do this.’
CNN also brought in chef and author Alison Roman and actress Eva Longoria, who will host a travel show focused on Mexican cuisine, as well as NPR’s Audie Cornish, who will host a weekly interview show.
Andrew Morse, head of CNN Plus, said the new service was not ‘a defensive play’ due to the aging of traditional news fans as Nielsen data shows that the average CNN viewer is 64 years old. Both Fox and MSNBC’s average viewer is 68.
‘We made a very purposeful decision to create something distinct,’ Morse told the Post. ‘There are always going to be challenges when you’re building something new.’
The streaming service launched on Tuesday following a big gala event on Monday in New York City. It featured some of the talent brought into the show, including (L-R) Audie Cornish, Cari Champion, Rex Chapman, Jemele Hill, Scott Galloway, and Kasie Hunt
Chris Balfe, a veteran of both cable news and streaming media, said if CNN+ hopes to be successful, it would need to get between 500,000 to 1 million subscribers in its first year.
‘CNN Plus might be a little late to the game, but the playing field is so unsettled and changing so quickly that I don’t think it will be a major detriment,’ he told the Post. ‘I think audiences are still in a phase of actively evaluating all of the various options.’
The start of CNN+ coincides with veteran television executive Chris Licht stepping up to replace CEO Jeff Zucker, with Licht hinting that he will scrap the network’s opinion-heavy content and return to the station’s roots as a hard-hitting news source.
The change in leadership, merger with Discovery, and launch of CNN+ could together mark the start of a new era for the Atlanta-headquartered network, which first went live in 1980.
How they stack up: CNN+ versus Fox Nation
Launch date: Expected March 2022
Base price: $5.99/month
- Chris Wallace
- Audie Cornish
- Alison Roman
- Eva Longoria
Top Original Shows:
- Jake Tapper’s Book Club
- Reliable Sources Daily
- The Source with Kasie Hunt
- Anderson Cooper Full Circle
- Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico
Forensic Files II
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Launch date: November 2018
Base price: $5.99/month
- Tucker Carlson
- Dan Bongino
- Geraldo Rivera
- Kevin Costner
Top Original shows:
- Tucker Carlson Today
- The Dan Bongino Show
- What Made America Great
- Yellowstone One Fifty
Forensic Files seasons 1-9