Just three weeks after the streaming service launched, Warner Bros. Discovery announced it is shutting down CNN+. Variety broke the news. The service will cease operations on April 30th, according to multiple reports, meaning it will close after just 32 days.
CNBC reported last week that CNN+ was pulling in just 10,000 daily users who were willing to pay $6 per month for exclusive live, on-demand and interactive news-driven programming. New CNN president Chris Licht, who was appointed after WarnerMedia and Discovery merged earlier this month, reportedly made the recommendation to kill CNN+.
Andrew Morse, the executive vice president who was running CNN+, is expected to leave Warner Bros. Discovery after a transition period. Reports suggest there may be hundreds of related job cuts.
It seems some CNN+ programming could be bound for HBO Max. CNN itself noted that Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav wants to combine the company's content into a single streaming service. That tracks with the plan to eventually merge HBO Max and Discovery+.
CNN had high hopes for the project. It invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the streaming service and recruited talent from other networks (such as Kasie Hunt from NBC and Chris Wallace from Fox News) to host CNN+ shows. However, Warner Bros. Discovery executives quickly pulled the plug after CNN+ failed to gain much traction.
For what it's worth, CNN+ crashed and burned even harder than Quibi. The short-form streaming service launched in April 2020 and shut down that December. Warner Bros. Discovery might take a little solace in the fact that Quibi blew nearly $2 billion instead of a relatively meager nine-figure sum.