CNN is to close its new streaming service, CNN+, after one month in operation.
The US news giant launched its heavily-hyped online service on 29 March, having invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the venture. Staff were told on Thursday that CNN+ would be shut down on 30 April.
While CNN+’s performance has underwhelmed, the new venture also appears to have suffered due to changes at the top of CNN’s parent company.
Much of the groundwork for the launch was laid by former CNN president Jeff Zucker, who resigned suddenly from his post in February. His successor, Chris Licht, starts on 2 May.
According to CNN media reporters Oliver Darcy and Brian Stelter, the decision to shutter the service was made by new management after the news service’s parent company, Warner Media, completed its merger with Discovery earlier this month.
David Zaslav, chief executive of the new company, Warner Bros Discovery, advocates housing all of the company’s content under a single streaming service.
Despite launching less than a month ago, Thursday’s closure announcement did not come as a surprise.
Axios reported earlier in the week that CNN+ looked “doomed” despite having attracted around 150,000 paying subscribers. Axios reported that bosses wanted to bring in 2m subs after 12 months and hit 15-18m after four years.
CNN said that subscribers “will receive prorated refunds of subscription fees”.
According to Darcy and Stelter, hundreds of staff may lose their jobs as a result of the closure of CNN+.
They reported that incoming boss Licht had informed employees of the news and described it as a “uniquely shitty situation”. Licht is also reported to have told staff that the launch had been “incredibly successful” but that the service was incompatible with the plans of CNN’s new parent company.