CNN’s New Owners Suspend Marketing For Chris Wallace-Led Streaming Service, Lay Off CFO: Report


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CNN’s new streaming service, CNN+, is failing miserably by every available metric and now the news is getting even worse for Fox News refugee Chris Wallace.

“Warner Bros. Discovery has suspended all external marketing spend for CNN+ and has laid off CNN’s longtime chief financial officer as it weighs what to do with the subscription streaming service moving forward, five sources tell Axios,” Axios reported.

The news organization said that the new streaming service has around 150,000 subscribers so far and people inside CNN believe that the launch has been successful, but Discovery executives disagree.

“New leadership has replaced CNN CFO Brad Ferrer with Neil Chugani, Discovery’s current CFO for streaming and international, as part of a broader finance team restructuring” Axios said.

“Other high-level positions at WarnerMedia across different business functions are likely to be eliminated to cut costs and streamline leadership in coming weeks,” it said.

And it appears it wants CNN to get back to reporting hard news and are looking to replace the 9:00 PM timeslot, formerly held by Chris Cuomo, with a live news broadcast, which would likely not bode well for other personality driven programs like those hosted by Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon.


CNN executives are said to be frustrated, believing that Discovery is stunting the growth of its streaming service by suspending marketing of the product.

The original plan CNN executives had was to invest $1 billion into the streaming service and have it become profitable withing four years.

“A profitable service would’ve diversified CNN’s revenue long-term around a digital asset outside of its website, increasing its valuation and potential, executives believe,” Axios reported.

“CNN+ launched on Roku last week, which should’ve prompted a subscription boost. But with marketing around the service suspended, there are concerns that growth will be short-lived. A point of pride amongst CNN staffers is how smoothly the app’s rollout has been technologically,” it said.

But executives from Discovery and frustrated that the network launched at all, considering if it had waited it could have launched the service with more of Discovery’s goals in mind.

“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,” it said.

Wallace has been said to be frustrated with the network but his former colleague Megyn Kelly saiod that she knew moving to CNN would have been a disaster when she was offered a similar deal.

During a segment on “The Megyn Kelly Show,” she revealed that former CNN chief Jeff Zucker made her a “huge offer” to jump ship to his network before taking a swipe at Wallace.

Kelly went on to mock CNN Plus, the network’s new streaming service.

“Who is the moron at CNN who actually thought, ‘you know what we need with our ratings in the toilet?’ More of us. We need more CNN,” Kelly began.

“I do love all of the jokes about how while Elon Musk is offering to buy Twitter for tens of billions, there are lots of people out there right now who are willing to buy CNN+ for tens of dollars,” her guest Buck Sexton said.


Kelly then tore into Wallace, who was hired by the network a few months ago.

“He was in last place every week, every year, every month. He was always in last. And they still paid him,” she said.


She then told Sexton about the huge offer CNN made her when Zucker was running the network.

“I considered going to CNN. CNN made me a huge offer. Huge. I said no, Buck, because I knew: who is my fanbase going to be over there? I knew who my fans were and I knew that my Fox viewers were not going to follow me to CNN and that the CNN viewers were going to hate my guts,” Kelly said.

She added that Wallace may be “suffering from that very problem right now.”

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