UPDATE, 12:55 p.m. Eastern: The hits just kept coming Tuesday for CNN+ as leaks into CNBC revealed the failing liberal streaming channel fetched “[f]ewer than 10,000 people are using CNN+ on a daily basis” only “two weeks into its existence.”
Simply put, this paltry number only gives credence to the notion that CNN’s new parent company Discovery will have even more leverage in extracting both budget cuts and changes to the liberal news outlet.
The original story is below.
Axios media reporter Sara Fischer published a scoop Tuesday morning that fell in the category of unsurprising as she cited “two sources” as having told her that massive cuts are expected at CNN+ in the near future after a spectacularly poor rollout. Sources told her that the projection is expected to be in the “hundreds of millions of dollars.”
In “Big cuts coming for CNN+ after slow start,” Fischer said the “investment” in the streaming platform “are expected to be cut dramatically in response to a low adoption rate” despite a plan to have “invest[ed] around $1 billion...over...four years.”
Thus far, Fischer said “around $300 million has been” poured into what former CNN puppetsmaster Jeffrey Zucker had tried to paint as the network’s future.
Fischer also had one of the more stunning numbers about what the insanely arrogant CNN executives thought in terms of how many Americans they could hornswoggle: “CNN executives, with help from consulting firm McKinsey, originally expected to bring in around 2 million subscribers in the U.S. in the service's first year and 15-18 million after four years.”
In other words, CNN actually believed roughly 5.5 percent of the U.S. population would look at CNN+ with the likes of Brian Stelter and the rest and think it’s worth paying for as part of their news diet and, sadly, how to spend their free time.
Not surprisingly, Fischer’s “sources” believe that, given how the real numbers are likely to have been well below expectations, “subscriber expectations will need to be dramatically reduced if investment is cut.”
Despite Monday’s news that the popular streaming company Roku would add CNN+ to its lineup, it’s safe to say that alone won’t be able to turn around this sinking ship with the likes of Reliable Sources Daily, Rex Chapman, and Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?
Oh, and there was this doozy at the bottom of Fischer’s story about the employment picture at CNN writ large: “Hiring has been frozen at WarnerMedia for the past six weeks, and this has been felt at CNN.”
Back on March 30, Fox Business network correspondent and New York Post columnist Charles Gasparino tweeted this was a possibility:
Breaking: @CNNplus employees bracing for layoffs possibly as soon as May amid projections of lackluster sales of new streaming channel; CNN employees say new streaming channel could be merged into larger @discoveryplus as early as May unless subscriptions pick up 130 @FoxBusiness— Charles Gasparino (@CGasparino) March 30, 2022
In response, CNN head of strategic communications and Zuckerbot Matt Dornic replied to refute the story by saying “we are VERY happy with the launch...and are only bracing for a long run of success,” which led CNN Plus’s own help account on Twitter to reply in a since-deleted tweet (as if Dornic were some random user and not an in-house shill): “Hi there, Matt! We’re so glad you’re enjoying your experience! We’ll be here if you have any questions.”
To make a point of sarcasm, this all couldn’t have happened to a nicer, more positive and constructive group of people.