The massive debacle that was CNN+ is now finally, officially dead. Even though the CNN+ era officially ended on April 28, 2022, 32 days after its launch, the cable network has now laid off the remaining 20 staffers of the doomed experiment. .
Here’s how Daily Beast reporter Justin Baragona explained it on Wednesday:
Months after shuttering its much-hyped streaming service less than a month after its launch, CNN laid off the last remaining CNN+ staffers on Wednesday morning, multiple sources confirmed to The Daily Beast.
Roughly 20 staffers were given pink slips on a Wednesday morning call, said three sources with knowledge of the situation. Among those fired were members of the Interview Club, a team launched alongside the network’s streamer earlier this year that would “allow subscribers to drive the conversation and be part of the story.”
In a February press release announcing the creation of Interview Club, the network stated this was an opportunity for CNN+ subscribers to “connect directly with anchors, experts and special guests in live, interactive conversations.”
Apparently The Interview Club was “supposed to entail the streamer’s users sending in questions either live or in advance of CNN+ scheduled interviews via their device.” Of course, the streaming service had almost no users. At any one time, there were as little as 5000 people watching. In a country of 329 million.
Showing how delusional the whole CNN+ experiment was, internal documents showed the network thought there would be “29 million ‘CNN super fans” willing to pay for the service.
Citing angry CNN+ staffers, the Daily Beast explained:
Two CNN insiders also told The Daily Beast that, following the shuttering of CNN+, this particular group of staffers was “strung along” on the promise that they would be utilized elsewhere on the digital side.
Back in April, we at NewsBusters looked at what CNN could have spent $300 million on instead of CNN+. That could have bought you 24,096,285 pepperoni pizzas or $6200 Tesla Model 3 cars or a 377 foot super yacht or 25 replicas of Barack Obama’s home at Martha’s Vineyard.
In case you wanted to remember how CNN+ ended, here were the final seconds before a black screen explained, “This video is unavailable right now.”