(Headline USA) CNN’s new streaming service is already facing steep budget cuts and lay-offs after a miserable launch.
Warner Bros. Discovery, an incoming corporate parent of CNN, plans to take a hard look at CNN+ and cut costs and staff members, according to Axios. As part of its review, WBD decided to suspend all external marketing for CNN+, and is pulling a plug on CNN’s original plan to invest $1 billion into the streaming service over the next four years.
The news comes amidst reports that CNN+ has failed to attract viewers and subscribers alike. The platform has only 150,000 subscribers so far, even after the company spent $300 million to roll it out.
CNN’s ratings have also tanked. Through Feb. 15, the channel’s average prime time audience among viewers aged 25-54 was just 126,000, according to Forbes.
However, CNN has insisted that CNN+ has been nothing but a success.
“After only three weeks of being available to customers, CNN+ is one of the top news subscription services on the market,” a spokesperson for the network said in a statement this week. “We remain very happy with CNN+’s performance to date and are proud of what our teams have built.”
CNN+’s early failure reportedly has one of its star hosts, former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, in a tizzy. He is reportedly having “daily mental breakdowns” over how quickly his career has tanked since leaving Fox.
SOURCE: Chris Wallace is “having daily breakdowns” over the “miserable launch” of @CNNplus. Wants a “CNN show or is threatening to walk” they go on. “He is having staffers count how many times a day his promo is playing”
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) April 12, 2022
On top of this, Wallace has been so uptight about his own image (or lack thereof) that he has been having staff count how many times his promo plays each day.