A lot of things at CNN are getting slashed and layoffs happening as Warner Bros. Discovery puts its vision in motion. The new streaming service was a train wreck and external marketing spending for it has been shut off. The previous CFO is being replaced. The new owners want the network reporting actual news. The politics were out of control. Chris Wallace is having daily melt downs about the new launch.
Big cuts at CNN
The new streaming service is facing huge cuts and reviews after it proved to be a fiasco. Chris Wallace was leading that. The former CFO Brad Ferrer will be replaced by Neil Chugani from Discovery.
The news focus is going to be much less radical left and more actual news. Discovery is putting its money where its mouth is, back to straight news reporting.
SOURCE: Chris Wallace is "having daily breakdowns" over the "miserable launch" of @CNNplus. Wants a "CNN show or is threatening to walk" they go on. "He is having staffers count how many times a day his promo is playing"
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) April 12, 2022
CNN maybe turning a page
Chris Wallace may or may not have a show if the streaming service has been chopped way back. Out of the 2 million subscribers CNN wanted in their streaming service, only 150,000 subscribed.
Axios reported on the different directions the network will be going in.
“Discovery’s experience launching niche subscriptions services, like GolfTV and its Food Network Kitchen App, has informed its strategy to focus on one scaled general entertainment offering around HBO Max, instead of more niche services that have to compete with big apps for subscriber cash. Discovery executives are focused mostly on returning CNN to its journalistic core, a point Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav reiterated in a town hall last week. That includes less of a focus on primetime perspective programming, and more of a focus on hard, breaking news. CNN+ features an array of soft news content, which doesn’t align with Discovery’s broader vision for CNN.”
Wallace is furious and has threatened to resign. He vented on Twitter. Jon Nicosia, former managing editor of Mediaite, spotted the tweet.
“SOURCE: Chris Wallace is ‘having daily breakdowns’ over the ‘miserable launch’ of @CNNplus. Wants a ‘CNN show or is threatening to walk’ they go on. ‘He is having staffers count how many times a day his promo is playing.’”
The network was bleeding
If it wanted to survive, it made sense to put a tourniquet on to stop the hemorrhage. Initially, $1 billion was going to be put into that service over four years.
$300 million has already been spent on the service which didn’t have enough subscribers to sustain it. The fate of CNN+ is unknown. The new boss, Chris Licht, will start May 1.
Wallace needs to tow the line
Wallace left over at least Tucker Carlson. Wallace isn’t going to cover politics but instead will interview cultural figures.
Wallace thinks the 2020 election was fair and that January 6 was terrible. “I’m fine with opinion: conservative opinion, liberal opinion. But when people start to question the truth — Who won the 2020 election? Was Jan. 6 an insurrection? — I found that unsustainable.”