There’s an old adage that warns against believing one’s own hype. Perhaps CNN should have considered that before its very public and miserable failure.
The subscription-based CNN+ streaming service that launched with much fanfare will shut down only 23 days after its launch, Breitbart reported. This move came swiftly after the network was taken over by the parent company Warner Bros. Discovery.
An official reason has not been given though speculation abounds. There were reports that the streaming service was drawing fewer than 10,000 viewers per day despite the network’s high hopes.
Some anonymous sources have said that the endeavor was a thorn in the new CEO David Zaslav’s side from its inception. The former CEO of WarnerMedia, Jason Kilar, had decided to launch CNN+ just before the takeover, and Zaslav didn’t like it.
Almost immediately after its March 29 go-live date, rumors about the company’s demise were surfacing. “Breaking: @CNNplus 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 @discoveryplus unless subscriptions pick up,” FOX Business Network Senior Correspondent Charles Gasparino tweeted March 30.
Communications director for CNN Matt Dornic insisted the network was “only bracing for a long run of success.” That’s laughable, considering CNN+ is slated to shut down on April 30 — a month to the day when that denial was sent out.
The idea for the platform was to compete with nemesis Fox News, but CNN has recently been plagued by low ratings and took another hit when star Chris Cuomo was ousted amid scandal. It has become increasingly more difficult for the network to draw talent or viewers based on the current model, let alone putting the content behind a paywall.
The rise and fall of CNN+ is a story for the ages that will serve as a cautionary tale to these left-leaning networks who think their point of view is popular. Perhaps it’s time to produce content people want.