CNN+ staffers are reportedly furious after the network’s Thursday announcement of the streaming platform’s collapse.
“This is f*cking nuts,” a staffer told the New York Post.
“Many people left their stable jobs at CNN to go to CNN+ and then they pull it right after launch? Everyone is aghast and furious,” a source said. “This literally rivals the epic disaster of Quibi,” another reportedly said.
“The big people will likely be saved, but what about everybody else, the people who do the real work?” the insider told The Post.
(Some of you are asking about me. I am proud to be on team CNN. I will be fine. It’s not about me right now.)
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) April 21, 2022
“At first people were really freaking out,” the anonymous staffer said. “And then, toward the end of the meeting, it just turned to sadness. Every team was just huddling with each other.”
An agent for one of the CNN+ hosts said their client’s program faces an unknown fate but assured that the network is determined to find roles for all the hosts, CNN reported.
The network’s parent company, WarnerMedia, recently merged with Discovery to create the newly formed Warner Bros. Discovery. Previous reports said CNN+ would merge with the larger streaming service, Discovery+, if subscription numbers did not increase.
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav reportedly met with CNN’s incoming president, Chris Licht, to discuss resolutions, charters and bylaws connected to the merger process.
“The irony is that Zaslav came in a few weeks ago and told the CNN+ staff they would soon be running the world, ahead of CNN anchors on TV,” another source told the Post.
Layoffs were predicted immediately after the launching unless subscriptions reached 130,000, Fox Business Charles Gasparino said in a March 30 tweet, the day after its launch. With hundreds of employees currently expected to lose their jobs, Licht said in a Thursday statement that staffers will continue to be paid and receive benefits for the next 90 days, then be handed a six-month severance.
The network spent $300 million on the new platform, losing $9,375,000 daily. The network’s executives expected nearly 2 million subscriptions within the first year and 15-18 million within four years.