CNN+ Sent to Chopping Block Less Than A Month After Launch

Streaming service “CNN Plus” spent $300 million in three weeks before its parent company pulled the plug

shortlived CNN Plus streaming service

CNN’s parent company Warner Bros. Discovery has officially pulled the plug on the premium streaming service CNN+ after a mere three weeks. Thursday’s announcement came as a “total and utter shock” to employees of the service, which has reportedly already spent $300 million to hire top corporate media talent, launch and advertise, with another $700 million in investments planned.

Variety broke the story on Thursday morning, saying the decision came from Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav. By noon, CNN executives confirmed it to the staff at their offices in New York City , saying the service would formally shut down on April 30.

Officially, Zaslav wants to unite all of the company’s brands under one streaming service. CNN+ was commissioned by former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, just weeks before Discovery acquired its parent company AT&T earlier this year.

The plan had been to invest $1 billion into the venture, hiring executives, producers and on-air talent from other networks, and planning for CNN+ to break even after four years. The service reportedly attracted a mere 10,000 people to tune in on a daily basis.

CNN’s incoming CEO Chris Licht announced the end, telling CNN+ staff they would get paid for the next 90 days and be given opportunities to get hired elsewhere inside the company.

“CNN+ had a short life – if you blinked, you missed it – but the light it cast upon the world was dull, banal and pointless, like a wisp of wind that you’re not even sure blew by,” independent journalist Greenwald posted on Twitter.

Customers of CNN+ will receive prorated refunds of subscription fees, the company said.