Report: CNN+ Suspends All External Marketing, Lays Off CNN CFO

By Brad Pareso 

Warner Bros. Discovery has suspended all external marketing spend for CNN+ and has laid off CNN’s longtime chief financial officer as it weighs what to do with the subscription streaming service moving forward. (Axios)

The company laid off CNN chief financial officer Brad Ferrer, replacing him with Neil Chugani, Discovery’s current CFO for streaming and international, as part of a broader financial restructuring. (TVNewser)

Axios said CNN’s original plan to become profitable in four years by investing $1 billion in the service is being “knee-capped,” citing plans to eliminate high-level positions across WarnerMedia. This includes potentially replacing Chris Cuomo’s 9 p.m. ET prime-time slot with a “live newscast, instead of personality-driven perspective programming.” (NY Post)

Advertisement

At CNN, executives have been encouraged with early results. The service has lured around 100,000 to 150,000 subscribers in its first three weeks, a rate that would put the service on target to make its first-year goals, according to two people familiar with the venture. (Variety)

However, Discovery officials believe that if CNN had waited until after the merger to create CNN+, it would have been easier to redirect the company’s efforts to something more in line with Discovery’s ambitions. Warner Bros. Discovery intends to create a unified service around HBO Max in the future, incorporating some CNN+ programming. (LostRemote)

Advertisement