The news, first reported by Variety, is a blow to the network, which had staked a good part of its reputation and a lot of money on success in the field of streaming. But viewership after CNN+ launched on March 29 was well below expectations, and Warner Bros. Discovery – the network’s parent company – decided to quickly pull the plug rather than devote more resources and management strength to overturning it.
Licht is expected to speak with CNN+ staffers about the decision Thursday at noon. In his letter, he said Andrew Morse, who ran CNN+, would be leaving the company after a transition period. He also said that all CNN+ employees will continue to be paid and receive benefits for 90 days and at the end of that period, anyone who cannot find work on the network will receive severance pay. six months and potentially more depending on their seniority at CNN.
Other outstanding questions include what to do with the programs that have already been taped and with some of the high profile talent that has been brought in to lead the programming, including Kasie Hunt, Chris Wallace, Audie Cornish and Rex Chapman.
CNN+ operations will cease on April 30, the person familiar with the network’s plans told POLITICO.