Warner Bros. Discovery to shut down CNN+ streaming service


April 21 (Reuters) – Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD.O) said on Thursday it would shut down its CNN+ streaming news service less than a month after its high-profile launch.

The service, which sought to capitalize on the popularity of streaming video and the growth of digital news subscriptions, will cease operations on April 30. The executive who helped design CNN’s streaming strategy, Andrew Morse, will also leave.

“CNN will be strongest as part of WBD’s streaming strategy, which sees news as an important part of a broader and compelling offering, as well as sports, entertainment and non-fiction content” said Chris Licht, president and CEO of CNN Worldwide, in a statement. “We have therefore made the decision to cease the activities of CNN+.”

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The Warner Bros logo is seen during the annual MIPCOM television program market in Cannes, France, October 14, 2019. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo

Licht said CNN will focus its resources on its core newsgathering operations and building CNN Digital.

CNN launched CNN+ late last month, a mix of familiar faces like Anderson Cooper and Chris Wallace, original series and new features like the “Interview Club.” But it got off to a slow start, attracting only 10,000 viewers a day.

Its March 29 debut, ahead of parent company WarnerMedia’s April 8 merger with Discovery, sparked speculation about its fate as a standalone service.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s Global Streaming President, JB Perrette, said in a statement that the CNN brand and its content will be part of a more comprehensive streaming offering. The company also operates HBO Max and Discovery+, two services the company has announced plans to combine.

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Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles and Eva Mathews in Bengaluru Editing by Andrea Ricci and Mark Potter

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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