CNN+ to shut down by end of April due to new management decision

April 21 (UPI) -- The new CNN+ streaming service will shut down by the end of this month due to a decision by new management following a merger.

The streaming service, featuring 8-12 hours of live, daily programming, along with on-demand and interactive programming, for $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year, launched a few weeks ago and will continue to stream until April 30.


CNN+ subscribers "will receive prorated refunds of subscription fees," the company said, according to a CNN report.

CNN had spent tens of millions of dollars on the service, from a nationwide marketing campaign to hiring hundreds of new employees and hiring high-priced talent, such as "Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace and former NPR co-host Audie Cornish.

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The new management, under Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, decided to shut CNN+ down under plans to instead house all the company's brands under one streaming service.

Zaslav's decision followed CNN's former parent company, Warner Media, merging with Discovery to form Warner Bros. Discovery earlier this month.

It also followed Netflix's shares plummeting 37% on Wednesday after the company said it lost a net 200,000 subscribers since the beginning of this year.


Former CNN U.S. president John Klein told The Washington Post that Zaslav's decision to shut the service down "must have seemed like a straightforward call" because of Netflix's decline.

Discovery's streaming boss J.B. Perrette has agreed with Zaslav's plan.

"In a complex streaming market, consumers want simplicity and an all-in service which provides a better experience and more value than stand-alone offerings, and for the company, a more sustainable business model to drive our future investments in great journalism and storytelling," Perrette said in a statement to CNN.

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"We have very exciting opportunities ahead in the streaming space and CNN, one of the world's premier reputational assets, will play an important role there," Perrette said.

Perrette and incoming CNN CEO Chris Licht notified CNN+ employees on Thursday. Hundreds of CNN+ employees may lose their jobs, the network reported.

Licht said in an internal memo that they will "continue to be paid and receive benefits for the next 90 days," and may look for jobs at "CNN, CNN Digital and elsewhere in the Warner Bros. Discovery family."

Licht added that employees who don't find jobs elsewhere in the company will receive six months of severance.

"This was an incredibly successful launch," Licht said, but told employees that the streaming service was incompatible with the newly merged company's plans, CNN reported.


"It's not your fault that you had the rug pulled out from underneath you," Licht said.

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