CNN+, the liberal cable news network’s $300 million streaming service, will go dark forever on April 30, Variety announced Thursday.
CNN planned the round-the-clock streaming service, which anchor Brian Stelter called “the evolution of video news and the start of a new era,” for years, spending hundreds of millions on it and poaching anchors such as Chris Wallace. It launched on March 29, with network honchos and consultants breathlessly predicting that in 2022 alone 2 million people would pay $60 per year to watch Stelter and other personalities.
Fewer than 10,000 people were using CNN+ before the closure announcement, CNBC reported last week.
CEO David Zaslav of CNN’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, said Thursday that he has seen enough. Zaslav was already “rankled” by former CEO Jason Kilar’s decision to “launch CNN+ just weeks before Discovery was set to take over operations,” Variety reported.
CNN subsequently confirmed the closure.
This is only the latest scandal to hit the left-wing cable network, which has seen its ratings plummet since former president Donald Trump left office. CNN last year fired prominent anchor Chris Cuomo for trying to help his brother, then-New York governor Andrew Cuomo (D.), shake off sexual harassment allegations. The Washington Free Beacon has since reported that Chris Cuomo was facing similar allegations.
Longtime CNN president Jeff Zucker abruptly resigned in February after the network’s investigation into Cuomo uncovered Zucker’s romantic relationship with a subordinate and former Andrew Cuomo aide. Anchor Don Lemon is facing sexual assault charges. The network’s chief legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, managed to keep his job even after he masturbated in front of his colleagues on a Zoom call.