CNN+ Is Shutting Down

(Image credit: CNN+)

NEW YORK—Even though WarnerMedia under AT&T’s ownership had planned to invest $1 billion and hire hundreds of people to develop the CNN+ streaming service, Warner Bros. Discovery has abruptly reversed course and decided to shut down CNN+ on April 30th. 

The decision came after a slow start to the recently launched service and the completion of the Warner Media/Discovery merger on April 8, shortly after the launch of CNN+ on March 28.

The new Warner Bros. Discovery has a hefty debt load of $58 billion and is in the process of developing a streaming strategy. Executives have signaled that its streaming strategy would involve combining existing services.

“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,” said Chris Licht, chairman and CEO of CNN Worldwide.  “We have therefore made the decision to cease operations of CNN Plus 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 Plus, an organization with terrific talent and compelling programming. But our customers and CNN will be best served with a simpler streaming choice.”

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.