Nate Jackson / April 22, 2022

Subtracting CNN+

The cable network’s short-lived and expensive streaming service is tossed on the ash heap of history.

“CNN+, the streaming service that was hyped as one of the most signifiant developments in the history of CNN, will shut down on April 30, just one month after it launched.” So announced CNN yesterday. Who hyped CNN+? CNN. Who cares about its demise? No one but those of us who occasionally enjoy some schadenfreude at CNN’s expense.

CNN’s self-claim to fame has been its slogan, “The Most Trusted Name in News.” Americans don’t agree, of course, and it’s not even close: 58% either disagree or strongly disagree with CNN’s claim. That’s for good reason. Despite the wagon circling from other Leftmedia outlets and the laughably pathetic rubber stamp of approval from leftist rating organizations like NewsGuard, most Americans are well aware that they can’t trust CNN for straight news, and they won’t pay $5.99 a month to get more of it.

Perhaps that’s why spending $300 million (not counting perhaps another $200 million in advertising) to create CNN’s streaming service lasted all of 24 days from launch to announcement of its cancellation. A gallon of milk might last longer.

CNN+ had “an incredibly successful launch,” insisted new CEO Chris Licht, though he also described it as a “uniquely sh**ty situation.” We’ll let you, good reader, determine how to combine those thoughts.

We will, however, note that CNN’s expectations were for two million subscribers in the first year and perhaps 15-18 million within a few years. Cancellation happened with somewhere between 100,000 and 150,000 subscribers. Apparently, CNN brass decided that investing the rest of the planned $1 billion over the next four years was not a good use of money.

Then again, perhaps this is all wrong. The Babylon Bee hilariously argues that CNN+ actually exceeded all expectations by lasting as long as it did.

Part of CNN’s $300 million investment was luring Chris Wallace away from Fox News for $9 million a year. It’s a good bet that CNN will find some use for a 74-year-old white guy with Trump Derangement Syndrome, but, as one insider asked, “What about everybody else, the people who do the real work?” He answered his own question: “Some will get six months’ severance, others will not.”

The demise of CNN+ is part of a larger trend for CNN-. The network has hemorrhaged viewers without Donald Trump to skewer. It was battered by the embarrassing departure of Chris Cuomo and the total fiasco involving former CEO Jeff Zucker. CNN still employs sexual deviants Don Lemon and Jeffrey Toobin.

Yet CNN’s problems are anything but new. Since the wealthy and loony Ted Turner founded the nation’s first 24-hour cable news network in 1980, CNN has committed journalistic malpractice. Gross bias, factual error, and outright news fabrication have marked its existence. You might even call CNN an “enemy of the people.” That’s why it’s both humorous and welcome that CNN’s big failure became the subject of the news.

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