CNN’s Brian Stelter, host of “Reliable Sources” proved once again that he is only truly reliable in shifting any negative press about his company to others as he sincerely attempted to argue that “it’s too early to know” if the soon to be defunct streaming service CNN+ “was a success or a failure.”
During Friday’s airing of CNN+’s “Reliable Sources Daily,” Stelter had the unique privilege of talking about the end of the streaming service following the completion of WarnerMedia, the parent company of CNN, merging with Discovery.
While there have been rumors that some of the programs may move forward under existing streaming services within the company, even Stelter’s guest Matt Belloni of Puck News was struggling with the surreal dialogue.
“I think I’m making history right now,” Belloni told Stelter, “I’ve never been on a program talking about the demise of that program.” Ever loyal to CNN, the host seemed all too prepared to challenge the accepted premise that he was participating in a complete disaster.
“It’s too early to know if this product, if this service was a success or a failure,” Stelter desperately tried to rationalize the implosion of CNN+. And he chided the “haters.” pic.twitter.com/vCFR3Q7dT4
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) April 22, 2022
“Let me try out a theory on you Matt, which is, it’s too early to know if this product, if this service was a success or a failure. Yeah, you got all the haters today saying this thing was a failure, I don’t know if we can even ever assess that because it just simply didn’t have enough time because of the management’s change in direction,” Stelter argued of resigned CEO Jeff Zucker’s supposed vision of CNN+ compared to the brass at newly formed Warner Bros. Discovery.
“And at the end of the day, if you buy something, if you buy a giant media company, you get to do whatever you want with it,” Stelter continued, “but it does mean there’s a lot of suffering for employees and, frankly, disappointment among subscribers as a result.”
Belloni had argued against blaming management, pointing out the merger was not a surprise, having been in the works for 11 months. “Yet,” he said, “even though they knew that, they barreled forward with the launch of CNN+ a couple weeks before the transaction closed.”
The Media Research Center’s deputy managing editor Nicholas Fondacaro supported Belloni’s argument and took a shot at Stelter whose reliable sources, he claimed, were really just those who tell him what he wants to hear.
“Stelter’s been touting sources as claiming CNN+’s collapse merely equated to clashing strategies between the new and previous leadership,” Fondacaro told Fox News Digital. “But that really just shows Stelter knows who to talk to get [sic] answers he wants to hear.”
“He’s taking the idealistic company man approach by talking about how great CNN+ could have been if given the time, but he’s not showing what the numbers are. We’ve all seen the reports about 10,000 daily users and an anemic subscriber base that they tried to bolster upon launch with a 50 percent off sale. All told, their lineup of shows wasn’t that great. You had, among others, a talk show with Don Lemon, one of their lower-rated hosts. Add in Stelter with a daily extension of his poorly performing Sunday show, and it’s not appetizing,” he added.
Even a former CNN producer called out how the writing was on the wall to begin with.
“I defy you to find any reasonable person who ever believed that viewers would pay extra money for the dregs of CNN when it was competing for their wallets with Netflix and Disney Plus. Do you want to watch ‘The Mandalorian’ or extra Brian Stelter?'” the producer posed to Fox News.
Others chimed in to show just how out of touch this take from Stelter was.
It cost $150-$300 million to create and advertise and it’s closing after ~30 days in operation with a daily average viewership of ~10k.
It was an absolute failure in every respect.
— 🇺🇸🇮🇱Im Sabian. Been Nice Disagreeing With You. (@Sabian187) April 22, 2022
“We don’t yet know if the Titanic’s maiden voyage is a success!”
— Gert B. Frobe (@ThumblessGrasp) April 22, 2022
Obviously Stelter’s not watching even his own CNN network for stories on this show.
— David Pitzer (@DavidPitzer14) April 22, 2022
It’s too soon to tell pic.twitter.com/dRB9l7jeYE
— The Streeter (@thestreeter) April 22, 2022
CNN+ is now CNN-
— ( Ξ-Marc21 ) (@eMarc21) April 22, 2022
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