CNN + Insider Brian Stelter not sure whether the streaming service will succeed or fail
Warner Bros. decided Discovery pulled CNN+ less than a month after launching the costly streaming service, sparking widespread ridicule and confusion among critics and insiders, but one CNN+ host insisted it might be a success.
“I dare you to find any sane person who thought viewers would pay extra for CNN deposits when they were competing for their wallets with Netflix and Disney Plus,” a former CNN producer told Fox News Digital. “Want to watch ‘The Mandalorian’ or see an extra Brian Stelter movie?”
Most onlookers consider Warner Bros. Discovery shut down CNN+ less than a month after launching a service that was said to cost about $300 million to be a disaster, but CNN media reporter Brian Stelter isn’t sure.
“It’s too early to tell if this product, if this service, is a success or a failure,” Stelter said in the Friday edition of Trusted Sources Daily on the soon-to-close platform.
“Today you have all the haters saying this thing was a failure. I don’t know if we can even assess that because he simply didn’t have enough time due to the management’s change of direction.”
Stelter, one of several CNN hosts who also hosted a show on the short-lived platform, dismissed the CNN+ failure due to a “crazy clash of strategies,” as CNN President Jeff Zucker and former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar clearly had a different view of the post-order system. Merger for Warner Bros. Executives. Discovery, who want to put the company’s streaming assets in one place.
CNN+ was largely the brainchild of Zucker, who was forced to resign earlier this year, before CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia, merged with Discovery. The failed service included content with liberal leanings that Zucker had long embraced, as well as cultural programming and serious news. Kilar, who is believed to be the person responsible for Zucker’s firing in February, also left the company after the merger was completed.
Zucker and Kellar were known to head over heels, but they seemed in line with the need for CNN+, which quickly struggled to attract viewers.
CNBC reported that only 10,000 people were using the service on a daily basis in two weeks, and Axios reported earlier this week that only 150,000 people signed up overall. However, Stelter, who is considered a Zucker loyalist, penned an article called “Clashing Strategies Doomed to Fail on CNN+ Amid Corporate Mergers,” which did not mention the service’s shockingly reported total of subscribers.
“From the perspective of the leadership team that launched CNN+, one of the world’s top news brands had to start a subscription business to secure its future. It was an expensive but necessary bet — and one that had to be made regardless of the timing of the merger,” Stilter wrote. , adding that his new superiors blamed the Zucker system for moving forward despite the looming merger.
The former CNN producer feels that someone should be held responsible for the disaster, as hundreds of employees will be laid off, albeit with six months of severance payments, if they cannot find new jobs at the company.
The former CNN producer said, “There should be consequences for CNN executives who took off on the launch even though Discovery clearly expressed skepticism.” “Everything had to be paused the day Jeff Zucker was fired because no one else at this level thought CNN+ could work.”
While Stelter claims that it may never be clear whether the project was a success, others feel it is doomed to fail from the leap. News of the service’s impending closure dominated social media Thursday, with CNN critics making every joke imaginable about the failed project. Some reporters in other outlets have criticized people who make blunt statements about employees losing their jobs.
Outkick founder Clay Travis is among the critics who have mocked CNN+’s content offerings.
“Who knew America wasn’t asking for more Rex Chapman and more awakened analytics from Jimmy Hill? And that there wasn’t much demand for Don Lemon or Anderson Cooper or Jake Tapper or Brian Stelter? Americans weren’t saying, ‘Hey, C.’ Inn, we chose not to watch your shows when they’re free, maybe what [you] Travis said sarcastically on “Outkick the Show.”
Even the folks inside CNN’s posh Hudson Yards headquarters wondered why CNN+ even existed in the first place.
A CNN insider praised the technical aspects and content of the service, but was confused by the huge investment after the announcement last year of the Discovery-Warner Media merger.
“I haven’t gotten to this whole thing since day one,” the Fox News Digital insider said. “I’m not commenting on the content here. I mean – the core product itself. I didn’t get why the huge money was spent after the merger was announced. It was like a wii! AT&T gave us money, let’s burn it. I don’t get it.”
The insider said they weren’t alone in this feeling within the company and employees weren’t aware of why the old management insisted on launching the service days before the new management took over.
They said, “Nobody had an answer to that before.” “It always was – Kilar wanted it.”
NewsBusters Deputy Managing Editor Nicholas Fundacaro feels Stelter is simply spinning the news of the service’s shutdown, which comes after an impressive marketing campaign and hiring names like Chris Wallace, Cassie Hunt, Odi Cornish and Eva Longoria.
“Stelter has been touting sources as claiming that the collapse of CNN+ merely equates to conflicting strategies between new and previous leadership. But it really shows that Stelter knows who to talk to to get the answers he wants to hear,” Fundacaro told Fox News Digital.
“He takes the perfect corporate man approach by talking about how great CNN+ would be if given the time, but he doesn’t show what the numbers are. We’ve all seen reports of 10,000 daily users and a poor subscriber base who tried to boost it at launch with a 50 percent off sale,” he added. Fondacaro. “Finally, their lineup of shows wasn’t great. You had, among other things, a talk show with Don Lemon, one of their lowest-rated hosts. Add Stelter with a daily extension to his poor Sunday show, which isn’t very appetizing.”
Stelter has long been accused of serving as a spokesperson for CNN and Radar Online suggested earlier this year that he was Zucker’s attack dog. Last August, he came under pressure from “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert over CNN’s handling of Chris Cuomo’s story involving his brother Andrew’s sexual harassment scandal.
Stelter defended the net and Cuomo’s behavior during the exchange as Colbert referred to a “strange inconsistency of rules” in play.
Colbert’s executive producer at the time was Licht, the new president of CNN who informed employees that CNN+ would be closing.
Megan McCain also disagrees with Stelter, calling CNN+ a “predictable disaster” in a stinging Daily Mail column.
“Why would anyone at CNN think an American audience would pay extra for content from a brand already struggling to appeal to audiences? Nielsen, the service that tracks television ratings, found that CNN’s total audience in February 2022 was down nearly 70% from the previous year,” he wrote. McCain.
CNN+ will cease operations on April 30.