Former employees at the failed CNN Plus streaming platform are lashing out after getting fired when the network shut it down, blaming executives for overspending on star anchor Chris Wallace.
CNN Plus’s fired employees are furious with the network’s new owners for shutting down and leaving them out in the cold.
Staffers are outraged that CNN spent millions on hosting talent that was meant to pull in viewers but failed.
Network insiders were not happy to learn that all junior staffers at the streaming service are being fired while the big stars like Wallace will be fine.
Around 300 staffers were offered six months’ severance as well as possible job opportunities within CNN, sources told the New York Post.
The sources unloaded saying: “The big people will likely be saved, but what about everybody else, the people who do the real work?
“The producers, showrunners?
“Some will get six months’ severance, others will not.
“Many people left their stable jobs at CNN to go to CNN+ and then they pull it right after launch?
“Everyone is aghast and furious. The irony is that Zaslav came in a few weeks ago and told the CNN+ staff they would soon be running the world, ahead of CNN anchors on TV.
“This is f*cking crazy, it is nuts.
“Given what the new mandate is, which is hard news, why would you have decided the CNN+ programming would be effectively softer programming?
“CNN should have just stuck to what they do well, which is hard news, not Anderson Cooper giving parenting advice.
“I might have declined to pay for it, but I would have tuned in if it could have been an app to see live TV.
“This literally rivals the epic disaster of Quibi,” a source said.
Other sources trashed CNN because they “overspent on talent” by giving Wallace $9 million.
Kasie Hunt, who was lured from MSNBC to CNN, said:
“The journalists I have been privileged to work with on CNN Plus are world-class.
“I am so incredibly proud to be able to call them colleagues.
“If your organization would like a chance to benefit from their talents, my DMs are open.
“This is *my* job for the foreseeable future.”
The journalists I have been privileged to work with on CNN Plus are world class
I am so incredibly proud to be able to call them colleagues
If your organization would like a chance to benefit from their talents, my DMs are open
This is *my* job for the foreseeable future
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) April 21, 2022
Chris Licht, the incoming CEO of CNN, said in a statement:
“This decision is in line with WBD’s broader direct-to-consumer strategy 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.
“As we become Warner Bros. Discovery, CNN will be strongest as part of WBD’s streaming strategy which envisions news as an important part of a compelling broader offering along with sports, entertainment, and nonfiction content.
“We have therefore made the decision to cease operations of CNN+ and focus our investment on CNN’s core news-gathering operations and in further building CNN Digital.
“This is not a decision about quality; we appreciate all of the work, ambition, and creativity that went into building CNN+, an organization with terrific talent and compelling programming.
“But our customers and CNN will be best served with a simpler streaming choice.”
“Consumers are the center of our strategy,’’ WB Discovery’s streaming chief JB Perrette said in a statement.
“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.
“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.’’
CNN+ is shutting down, effective April 30, sources say https://t.co/mcwv2zgERv
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) April 21, 2022
From CNN Business:
CNN+, the streaming service that was hyped as one of the most significant developments in the history of CNN, will shut down on April 30, just one month after it launched.
The decision was made by new management after CNN’s former parent company, WarnerMedia, merged with Discovery to form Warner Bros. Discovery.
David Zaslav, the chief executive of Warner Bros. Discovery, has said that he wants to house all of the company’s brands under one streaming service. Some CNN+ programming may eventually live on through that service.
Hundreds of CNN+ staffers were notified of the decision in a meeting on Thursday afternoon.