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CNN’s Brian Stelter delivered the postmortem on the network’s spectacularly failed streaming news venture, acknowledging to viewers that CNN+ was doomed to fail while putting a positive spin on the future for the larger company after the Discovery-WarnerMedia merger.
On Sunday’s edition of “Reliable Sources,’ the network’s chief media correspondent lamented the demise of CNN+ which was shut down after merely a month and over $300 million dollars squandered on a project that was always mystifying considering that CNN’s ratings have been in a downward spiral and that few Americans would be willing to pay money for something that they don’t even bother watching for free.
Stelter, who had previously struggled with his grief over the humiliating implosion of CNN+ was far more composed on Sunday when he summed it up for his viewers, blaming it on a corporate decision by the incoming owners while also bringing up the troubles of Disney and Netflix who, like CNN, had a week from hell.
“Here at CNN, new ownership decided to shut down the CNN+ streaming service less than a month after it was launched by the previous management team,” he said. “The U-turn was front-page news, stunning news and painful news for everyone involved.”
“Years of development possibly down the drain,” Stelter added. “Some of the shows may never be seen, hundreds of staffers may be laid off, though the company is trying to place many of them in new jobs.”
“Amid these bruising headlines, folks are trying to make sense of it and some partisans are believing the predictable talking points about politics, but the truth is, this was a corporate move,” he said. “This CNN+ service was doomed because of the timing of a merger and clashing streaming strategies.”
Then Stelter applied the proverbial lipstick to a pig.
“The new owner of CNN, Warner Brothers Discovery has big plans to combine multiple streaming platforms to make one big challenger for Netflix.”
He proceeded to detail Netflix’s troubling week when the company’s stock plunged after a loss of 200,000 subscribers, a fall that many attributed to the increasing focus on “woke” programming that, while immensely pleasing to the Democratic Party’s base, is a stomach-churning turnoff to most Americans.
Billionaire Elon Musk absolutely nailed it when he tweeted that “The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable,” after the news broke.
The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 20, 2022
Stelter then welcomed his panel of experts who appropriately looked like guests at a funeral, with Axios reporter Sara Fischer also stating that new management wanted to create one big streaming service and that executives at Discovery began to question the viability of the platform after disgraced former CNN head honcho Jeff Zucker resigned in February.
“I think ultimately they took a look at the books after the merger completed on April 8, they thought this is too expensive, it might not ever get to profit on time, and it doesn’t fit in with what we want to do,” she said. “It’s better to cut it off now than to keep it lagging for months while they decide.”
Whether Stelter and other politically polarizing figures have a future at the new CNN remains to be seen.
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