Goodbye, CNN+, we hardly knew ye. The American television network’s recently-launched streaming service is shutting down after only three weeks of operation. Although the service, which included seasons of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown along with original programming from the likes of Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon, was just launched at the end of March, it will shutter operations by April 30th.
Former CNN CEO Jeff Zucker first announced the service back in July of 2021, announcing that over a billion dollars would be put into getting CNN+ off the ground. However, Zucker’s resignation in February of 2022, just one month before the streaming service’s launch, threw a significant wrench in those plans.
By the time the service did end up launching, CNN’s parent company WarnerMedia announced that another one of its streaming services, Discovery+, would be consolidated into HBO Max. CNN+ was now a loose thread, and with only 100,000 estimated users, CNN decided to pull the plug.
“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,” Discovery executive J.B. Perrette said in a statement, “And, for the company, a more sustainable business model to drive our future investments in great journalism and storytelling.”
That’s quite a nice way of saying CNN+ was a bad idea. In all likelihood, the programming that was featured on CNN+ will either appear on HBO Max or be cancelled. CNN had hired figures including former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, former NBC anchor Kasie Hunt, social media chef Alison Roman, and NPR personality Audie Cornish for CNN+-exclusive content.
A number of employees hired for CNN+ will subsequently be laid off or reassigned to other WarnerMedia departments. The final day of operation for the streaming service will be April 30th.