CNN President Chris Licht seems to be in damage control mode.
Apparently, CNN’s new streaming service wasn’t as successful as they had hoped. Their new streaming service, CNN+, launched on March 29. However, it’s been less than a month, and CNN president Chris Licht has already announced that it’ll be shut down by the end of April.
Licht released a statement through Twitter, saying that the decision to cancel the streaming service is “not a reflection of the quality and talent of CNN+.”
CNN President Chris Licht Addresses Streaming Service Shutdown
CNN President Chris Licht has sent a memo announcing the end of CNN+ pic.twitter.com/xlfRDoJSMl
— Michael M. Grynbaum (@grynbaum) April 21, 2022
In a statement posted on Twitter, CNN’s President stated, “Let me be clear: this move is in no way a reflection of the talented and hardworking people who poured their heart and soul into building and flawlessly launching CNN+ in a very short period of time. It also is not a reflection of the quality of the talent and content of CNN+, some of which will migrate to CNN’s programming or some of the company’s other networks. The process for making those decisions is already underway and we will communicate to those affected as quickly as possible.”
“But most importantly, we are committed to making the transition as smooth as possible for our CNN+ colleagues,” he continued. “As part of the transition plan, all CNN+ employees will continue to be paid and receive benefits for the next 90 days to explore opportunities at CNN, CNN Digital, and elsewhere in the Warner Bros. Discovery family. At the end of that period, any departing CNN+ employee will receive a minimum of six-month severance (depending on length of service at CNN).”
Despite his statement, many individuals were not exactly surprised to see CNN+ come to an end so quickly.
I’m shocked that a network that had lost around 40% of its viewers compared to 2020 thought a subscription model was a good idea. If people won’t watch “for free” on their televisions, then what made CNN think people would pay $6/month for more CNN “quality” programming? 🙄🤣
— Cannon (@cannonarsenal) April 21, 2022
“I’m shocked that a network that had lost around 40% of its viewers compared to 2020 thought a subscription model was a good idea,” one user wrote. “If people won’t watch ‘for free’ on their televisions, then what made CNN think people would pay $6/month for more CNN ‘quality’ programming?”
Shaun King Calls Out Chris Licht’s Streaming Service Failure
Journalist and author Shaun King called out CNN and the privilege of being able to recover from the “scandal” of shutting down so quickly.
“I wanna talk about the space white people, particularly white men, are given to FAIL and the money they are given to blow through, with little more than a giggle,” he wrote in a post on Facebook. “CNN+ blew through nearly $300 million for less than a month of service. That’s $300,000,000.”
“I never met a single person that thought it would work,” he added.
“My low budget podcast literally has more daily listeners than CNN+ had,” he continued. “Same thing happened with Quibi, which blew through $1.75 BILLION in less than 6 months and shut down. And all the leaders from Quibi, and all the leaders from CNN+, will all land right on their feet and keep on working in the industry.”
“I started The North Star ON MY CREDIT CARDS, with no outside investors or equity or loans or debt, and every single decision I ever made was scrutinized,” King explained. “The same is true of every project I’ve ever been a part of.”
“I can name 50 Black entrepreneurs who will tell you the same story. And when they failed, with 1% of the money, sometimes YEARS later, people treated it like a scandal – not a normal thing that happens in business,” he added.
King concluded, “All I am proposing is that we give Black men and women in business the same space to experiment and fail like our white counterparts.”