“CNN+ streaming will come to an end on April 28, 2022. If you purchased your subscription directly from us, we will be providing a full refund for your subscription fee back to your original CNN+ payment method by May 28, 2022,” the email read.
CNN poured nearly $300 million into the venture, and planned to spend up to $1 billion on it over the next several years. But the streaming service proved to be an abysmal failure, barely attracting a few thousand viewers a day despite star-shudded shows featuring hosts like Anderson Cooper and former Fox News host Chris Wallace.
WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent company, agreed to kill the project during a merger with Discovery, which had doubts about the success of CNN+.
In a memo, incoming CNN CEO Chris Licht said he agreed with Discovery that consumers want “simplicity and an all-in service” rather than “stand-alone offerings.”
“While today’s decision is incredibly difficult, it is the right one for the long-term success of CNN,” Licht wrote. “It allows us to refocus resources on the core products that drive our singular focus: further enhancing CNN’s journalism and its reputation as a global news leader.”
Former President Donald Trump, a longtime nemesis of the network under past CNN president Jeff Zucker, issued a statement in response to the news.
“Congratulations to CNN+ on their decision to immediately FOLD for a lack of ratings, or viewers in any way, shape, or form,” Trump wrote.
“It was like an empty desert out there despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars and the hiring of low-rated Chris Wallace, a man who tried so hard to be his father, Mike, but lacked the talent and whatever else is necessary to be a star,” he continued.
“In any event, it’s just one more piece of CNN and Fake News that we don’t have to bother with anymore!”