Here’s Warner Bros. Discovery’s official announcement of CNN+’s shutdown
By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links
Following a midday staff announcement April 21, 2022, that CNN+ will shut down April 30, 2022, after only a month of operation, the network’s parent company has released its announcement.
The full text of that is below, presented as it was sent to the media.
CNN and Warner Bros. Discovery today announced that CNN+ will cease operations effective April 30.
“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 in the 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. 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.”
CNN+ customers will receive prorated refunds of subscription fees.
CNN also announced that Andrew Morse, Executive Vice President, Chief Digital Officer of CNN Worldwide and Head of CNN+, has decided to leave the company, effective following a transition period.
“We are grateful to Andrew for his significant contributions to CNN Digital and CNN+ over the years,’’ Licht said. “He and his team created a quality slate of rich and compelling content and helped produce and distribute CNN’s journalism around the world on a variety of platforms. We appreciate Andrew and everyone’s hard work and dedication.’’
“It has been an honor to work alongside the world’s best journalists these past nine years, and I could not be prouder of what we built together with CNN Digital and CNN+. Our journalism has never been stronger, nor has it reached more people in more places across more platforms than it does today,” said Morse. “I am a great believer that change is critical – for individuals and for organizations. As the company enters an exciting period of change, it is a logical time to make a change for myself. I’ll always be rooting for CNN.”
Following Morse’s departure, Alex MacCallum, CNN Worldwide, Head of Product/General Manager CNN+ will step in to lead CNN Digital. She will work with Chris to determine a leadership strategy going forward. CNN is the nation’s #1 digital news outlet, holding that position in every month of 2021 and 2022 in the key metrics of U.S. unique visitors, mobile unique visitors, video unique viewers, and young adult unique visitors.
J.B. Perrette, Chief Executive Officer and President of Global Streaming and interactive entertainment at Warner Bros. Discovery, said the CNN brand and its content will be key to the company’s direct-to-consumer service.
“Consumers are the center of our strategy,’’ Perrette said. “In a complex streaming market, consumers want simplicity and an all-in service which provides a better experience and more value than stand-alone offerings, and, for the company, a more sustainable business model to drive our future investments in great journalism and storytelling. We have very exciting opportunities ahead in the streaming space and CNN, one of the world’s premier reputational assets, will play an important role there.’’