Just three weeks after its launch, CNN and Warner Bros. Discovery announced they will shut down CNN+ at the end of the month.
The streaming news service launched on March 29, and features hours of daily live news coverage, including on-demand news specials and exclusives.
The platform’s demise came nine days after the completion of the merger between Discovery and CNN’s parent company WarnerMedia.
“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,” Chris Licht, chairman and CEO of CNN Worldwide said Thursday in a statement. “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.”
He went on to praise the streamer service’s staff.
“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,” Licht added.
CNN had big plans for the streaming platform. Axios reports the network spent $300 million to launch the project. They invested in talent such as Kasie Hunt from NBC and Chris Wallace who spent over a decade at Fox News.
According to CNN, CEO Chris Licht sent out an internal memo saying that employees affected by this decision will be able to explore other opportunities within the Warner Bros. Discovery family — they will also receive benefits and get paid for the next 90 days. Those who aren’t placed in other departments will receive up to six months of severance pay.
Customers who signed up for the $5.99 a month service will receive prorated refunds of subscription fees.
CNN+ will shut down on April 30, 2022.