Just days after launching CNN+, the cable news network is already facing reports that there are layoffs coming for its paid subscription service as soon as May.
An NPR interview transcript from Tuesday shows the launch of the streaming service being described as “an historic day for CNN.”
By Wednesday, however, Fox Business News reporter Charles Gasparino had tweeted that employees at the network were already prepping for downsizing.
“[CNN+] employees bracing for layoffs possibly as soon as May amid projections of lackluster sales of new streaming channel,” tweeted Gasparino.
Breaking: @CNNplus employees bracing for layoffs possibly as soon as May amid projections of lackluster sales of new streaming channel; CNN employees say new streaming channel could be merged into larger @discoveryplus as early as May unless subscriptions pick up 130 @FoxBusiness
— Charles Gasparino (@CGasparino) March 30, 2022
CNN Responses Vague
The Daily Mail reports that CNN+ is a $120 million venture and notes the network has failed to deny reports of potential layoffs.
CNN officials, they report, “rebuked statements that the launch of their streaming service was unsuccessful” but were unwilling to “provide information on how many subscribers” they have and did not “deny that possible layoffs were in store in the near future.”
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Were it a roaring success, wouldn’t those numbers have been readily publicized and layoffs called out of the question?
CNN Head of Strategic Communications Matt Dornic replied to Gasparino’s tweet suggesting everything at the new service is going swimmingly.
“For the record, we are VERY happy with the launch of CNN+ and are only bracing for a long run of success,” Dornic wrote.
For the record, we are VERY happy with the launch of CNN+ and are only bracing for a long run of success.
— Matt Dornic (@mdornic) March 30, 2022
Hiring a ‘Misinformation’ Team
It’s difficult to fathom how a network going through executive turmoil and unable to attract ratings on their main network thought launching a subscription service was going to work out.
Why would anyone pay for misinformation when they can get it for free on the prime channel playing in hotel lobbies and airports across the country?
Nothing says success like layoffs in the first month. #RIPCNNPLUS
— Tony FJB Bruno (@TonyBrunoShow) March 30, 2022
Top talent for the subscription service includes former Fox News host Chris Wallace, Jemele Hill, and Eva Longoria.
Imagine being Wallace, featured prominently on a network dominating in the ratings for years, only to end up on a backbench subscription service for CNN that could very well be dead before it starts.
Bold career move, Cotton.
Why did anyone think the public would pay for #CNNPlus to watch MORE of what they are already NOT watching on basic cable? @CNN ratings are in the toilet. That CNN is already considering employee lay-offs just 24 hours after CNN+ launch is stunning.
— MarkHyman (@MarkHyman) March 31, 2022
CNN+ perhaps saw the writing on the wall when, earlier this month, they tried enticing subscribers with a “deal of a lifetime” – 50% off the subscription costs.
They also offered to sell the first 29 seconds of its live-streaming debut as NFTs which is … hilarious.
CNN+’s Live Streaming Launch to Be Sold as NFTs https://t.co/25ikWoz24Z
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) March 30, 2022
CNN Business Managing Editor Alex Koppelman announced on Twitter earlier this year that the network was hiring a team that will be dedicated to covering ‘misinformation.’
Hello Twitter! Some very exciting MEDIA JOBS to tell you about. I’m hiring 3 people for a new CNN team dedicated to covering misinformation. Thread about the team/jobs starts here. Please feel free to share far and wide, and if you’re interested, reach out or apply at the links.
— Alex Koppelman (@AlexKoppelman) January 18, 2022
Maybe had they not been dedicating so much time to promoting misinformation on their main network over the last several years, the subscription service wouldn’t be having such a hard time treading water right now.
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