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CNN's New Streaming Service Already Headed For Layoffs Amid Dismal Sales

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Mar 30, 2022 - 10:40 PM

CNN's ill-fated attempt to launch its own 'Fox Nation'-style streaming service (which it christened - rather unoriginally - CNN+) is already hitting the skids.

According to a Fox Business report, the streaming service, which recently hired former Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace to host his own show, and only just launched on Tuesday, is already bracing for layoffs as soon as May due to "lackluster" sales projections.

The streaming service was supposed to be the flailing cable news channel's answer to declining ratings. And according to the Washington Post, it represented the largest investment in new programming since Ted Turner launched CNN in 1980.

The network has been working on the launch since the summer of 2021 and has invested nearly $100 million in the venture. CNN owner WarnerMedia is asking viewers to fork over $5.99 a month for the service.

In addition to Wallace, who will host an interview show entitled "Who's Talking To Chris Wallace?" four days a week, the network also poached several other big names, including Kasie Hunt from MSNBC, author and chef Alison Roman, and actress Eva Longoria, who will host a travel show dedicated to Mexican cuisine. Former "All Things Considered" co-host Audie Cornish, a veteran of NPR, will also host a weekly interview show.

As WaPo explained, the streaming platform was intended to compensate for the fact that most cable-news superfans are in their 60s, which isn't a particularly attractive age bracket or advertisers (who typically prefer to market to younger consumers who can build product loyalties that can persist over a lifetime). As of May 2021, the median age of a CNN viewer was 64 (which is still lower than the average age for Fox, at 68). 

CNN's ratings have continued their dramatic descent recently, prompting upheaval in the channel's upper ranks, most notably the firing of former network President Jeff Zucker, who conceived of the network.

With CNN is also about to change owners, and Fox Business reports that its new owner, Discovery, might opt to "consolidate" its streaming services, essentially folding CNN+ into its own streaming service.

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