Axios media reporter Sara Fischer PublishedA scoop Tuesday morning fell under the unsurprising category 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.”
“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 had one of the most astonishing numbers regarding the arrogance of CNN executives in regards to how many Americans they could hornswoggle with. “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 Trustworthy Sources Everyday, Rex ChapmanPlease see the following: 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.”
On March 30, Fox Business Network correspondent Charles Gasparino and New York Post columnist Charles Gasparino returned to work tweeted this was a possibility:
Breaking: @CNNplusEmployees are being warned that they could lose their jobs as early as May, due to low sales projections for the new streaming channel. CNN employees believe that the new streaming channel might be combined into a larger entity. @discoveryplusIf you don’t subscribe to 130, it will be as soon as May @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,” This led CNN Plus’s own help accountOn Twitter, to respond in a since-deleted Tweet (as though Dornic was an anonymous user and not an inside-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.