CNN Announces the Launch of CNN+ in Q1 ’22

By A.J. Katz 

CNN Worldwide started the week by announcing the launch of CNN+, the company’s new subscriber-based streaming news service. CNN+ will launch in the first quarter of 2022.

“CNN invented cable news in 1980, defined online news in 1995 and now is taking an important step in expanding what news can be by launching a direct-to-consumer streaming subscription service in 2022,” WarnerMedia News and Sports chairman and CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker said in a statement.

CNN’s chief digital officer Andrew Morse, who will be the executive in charge of CNN+, remarked that this would be “the most important launch for CNN since Ted Turner launched the network in June of 1980.”


He added in a statement: “For 41-years, global audiences have turned to CNN as an essential source of news and information, which is rooted in our deep commitment to quality journalism. CNN+ will be built on a foundation of world class reporting and storytelling and a commitment to meet our audiences wherever they are.”

In an interview with his CNN colleague Brian Stelter, Morse says that the streamer will have three main components: Eight to twelve hours of live programming a day; original series, some brand new for CNN+ and some from the network’s archives; and something Morse called an “interactive community.”

CNN+ will launch with a deep library of non-fiction, long form programming including past seasons of CNN’s award-winning original series and films, including Anthony Bourdain:Parts Unknown, Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, This is Life with Lisa Ling, and United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell.

Additionally, CNN+ will build upon that library with new original series and films developed for CNN+, which will be unveiled later this year.

Stelter reports that the price point for CNN+ will be announced later. Producers have been piloting possible shows in recent weeks. Morse said the shows will be led by “some of CNN’s most prominent talent, as well as several new faces,” alluding to some planned hires. We hear former NBC News correspondent and MSNBC host Kasie Hunt, for instance, will have a big presence on CNN+.

Morse also told Stelter that CNN is hiring about 450 people for CNN+, from producers to engineers to marketers.

CNN is finally joining its competition in the crowded streaming news space, although 8 to 12 hours of live programming spanning genres appears to be more robust than what the competition currently has on the docket. Just last week, Peacock announced the rebranding of the progressive streaming news channel The Choice as The Choice From MSNBC, and will launch a few new shows on the channel hosted by MSNBC talent. Fox News has Fox Nation, a subscription-based service which focuses on entertainment and conservative opinion programming. It also has the Fox International streaming service for fans of the network living abroad.

CBS News was the first major news outlet to launch a standalone streaming service with CBSN coming into the picture in 2014. That ad-supported service airs a live news program in the morning, runs taped stories for most of the day, before returning in the evening with live news. The same is true over at ABC with ABC News Live, while NBC News has the streaming news channel NBC News Now and Today show-focused streaming content on Peacock’s Today All Day.