Brand New CNN+ To End Service April 30th
Barely a blip on the smart TV radar screen, the new much-hyped on-demand CNN Plus streaming news service is history.
The cable news network confirmed the decision in its own reporting on Thursday afternoon, adding that the virtually still-born digital news offering will shut down on April 30th, just one month after it began.
The company said all early subscribers will receive “prorated refunds of subscription fees.”
CNN reported that the decision came down from new management soon after completion of the recent merger between former CNN parent WarnerMedia and Discovery into the new Warner Bros. Discovery operation.
The new company’s CEO David Zaslav said the strategy of the prior management that initiated the CNN Plus concept clashed with the new team’s plan to place all of the combined media company’s brands under a single streaming platform.
Some of the programming planned for CNN Plus will likely soon appear on the new all-you-can-eat service, and some content will appear on the existing CNN television network.
The report said CNN had “poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the new streaming app and lured top talent from other networks for it, including Kasie Hunt from NBC and Chris Wallace from Fox News.”
CNN CEO Chris Licht notified staffers of the decision in a meeting on Thursday afternoon. All CNN+ employees are to continue to be paid and receive benefits for the next 90 days, and have been invited to apply for other opportunities within the new company, CNN reported.
More details on the out-going management’s inability for legal and other reasons to halt the launch of CNN Plus just two weeks before the merger transition process can be found here.
In the smart TV universe, the CNN Plus service is still mostly unavailable. One exception was announced on April 11th, when CNN posted a blog advertising a new expanded CNN app including the CNN Plus service would be available through devices running the Roku streaming platform.
CNN said the CNN Plus programming will continue to stream where available through the end of the month.
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By Greg Tarr
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