CNN employees squirm over report newly launched CNNplus is already planning job cuts

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CNN’s heavily promoted new online streaming service may have just launched but there are already rumors of troubles with the platform which is reportedly struggling to sell subscriptions and already on the verge of laying off workers.

Less than two days after the official debut of the $120 million venture, a belated entry into the streaming news business that is years behind competitor Fox News which launched Fox Nation three years ago, the news broke that rough times could be in the near future for the self-proclaimed “most trusted name in news” and that job cuts could be imminent unless more paid subscribers sign up.

In a Wednesday bombshell dropped via Twitter, Fox Business reporter Charles Gasparino delivered the shocking news that the launch of CNN+ has imploded on liftoff.

“@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…”

Matt Dornic, CNN’s worldwide head of strategic communications responded to Gasparino’s report but didn’t address the possibility of job cuts due to failing to meet subscriber projections.

“For the record, we are VERY happy with the launch of CNN+ and are only bracing for a long run of success,” he tweeted.

CNN + is priced at $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year with a special bonus offer, “Early subscribers that sign up within the first four weeks directly will have access to the “Deal of a Lifetime,” or 50% off the monthly plan – for life – as long as they remain subscribers,” according to a CNN press announcement.

But even that generous offer wasn’t enough to lure viewers and CNN slashed prices even lower, to $2.99 per month to coincide with the platform’s debut.

CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter pitched the new service to potential subscribers, who by early indications are reluctant to pay money for additional content from a network that the vast majority of Americans don’t even watch for free.

Twitter users reacted to the sad but completely predictable news.

In addition to viewer apathy with the existing free content of a network that completely trashed its own brand under the disastrous tenure of ex-president Jeff Zucker who resigned in disgrace in February, the promos for the streaming platform were a sign of potential trouble with star acquisition Chris Wallace missing from the gaggle of on-air personalities hawking the new product.

The former Fox News star anchor was hired away from his longtime employer in a move that was a major coup for CNN, but rumors that he is disgruntled following the ouster of Zucker have percolated, including his sour relationship with Jake Tapper whom he “hates,” according to a recent report.

“He went over there for Zucker and now Zucker is gone. Wallace feels that he has been stiffed. He’s got no staff, no Executive Producer and the guy he gave up a prized gig for has just walked out the door,” according to an unnamed TV industry insider who was quoted by Radar Online.

In what is already a tumultuous time at CNN which has been plagued by scandals involving top personalities including fired anchor Chris Cuomo as well as the coming change in management when veteran producer Chris Licht takes over and begins an anticipated shakeup, the failure of the heralded streaming platform would be a massively embarrassing addition to the network’s pile of woes.


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