CNN Plus crashes and burns weeks after launching, shutdown scheduled for April 30

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(Image credit: CNN)

What you need to know

  • CNN+ launched in late March as a new avenue for news content.
  • The service is scheduled to shut down on April 30, following the merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia.
  • Subscribers will receive prorated refunds following the shutdown.

CNN Plus hasn't even been available for a month, yet the service is already being scheduled to be shut down at the end of April. The announcement came on Thursday, just weeks after the service launched.

The move follows the recent merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery, which has combined to become Warner Bros. Discovery. The shutdown was decided by the management team of the newly combined company.

According to CNN, employees were informed of the shutdown on Thursday by CNN CEO Chris Licht, who said that employees "will continue to be paid and receive benefits for the next 90 days to explore opportunities at CNN, CNN Digital and elsewhere in the Warner Bros. Discovery family." However, Licht notes that it's not an ideal situation as hundreds of employees could potentially lose their jobs. However, those that do will receive a minimum of six months of severance pay.

CNN+ launched at the end of March on some of the best streaming devices and with lofty goals of becoming the Netflix of news, offering daily newscasts, live and on-demand content, specials, interactive interviews, and more. It costs just $6 per month, although customers will receive prorated refunds of their subscription fees following the shutdown.

It became apparent that CNN+ launched at a tough time amid a merger and in a space that's become increasingly crowded with streaming video services. Licht was quoted that the launch was "incredibly successful," but reports from CNBC indicated that less than 10,000 viewers used the platform daily. That said, Discovery's streaming boss, J.B. Perrette, says in a statement that he remains hopeful for CNN's success in the streaming space.

"In a complex streaming market, consumers want simplicity and an all-in service which provides a better experience and more value than stand-alone offerings, and, for the company, a more sustainable business model to drive our future investments in great journalism and storytelling."

CNN+ content will continue to be available on the platform until the April 30 shutdown.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.