CNN+ Staffers ‘Will Continue to Be Paid and Receive Benefits For the Next 90 Days’

By A.J. Katz 

Warner Bros. Discovery announced Thursday that it will be shutting down its subscription streaming news service CNN+, effective April 30.

According to CNN’s Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy, “hundreds” of CNN+ staffers may lose their jobs.

Incoming CNN Global chairman and CEO Chris Licht said in an internal memo that “all CNN+ employees will continue to be paid and receive benefits for the next 90 days to explore opportunities at CNN, CNN Digital and elsewhere in the Warner Bros. Discovery family.”


Staffers who aren’t absorbed in the new Warner Bros. Discovery will receive a minimum of six months of severance, Licht told CNN staffers at a separate town hall, held not long before publication.

According to Stelter and Darcy, the premise of CNN+ runs counter to Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s plan to keep all of the company’s brands under one streaming service. They add that some CNN+ programming may eventually live on through a planned Warner Bros. Discovery streaming service—and other programming could conceivably land on CNN’s flagship TV network.

“It is not your fault that you had the rug pulled out from underneath you,” Licht reportedly told staffers, as he vowed to minimize the impacts to staff. Licht also referred to the ordeal as “a uniquely shitty situation.”

As part of the shutdown, CNN+ and CNN digital boss Andrew Morse is leaving the company. Licht reportedly staffers he disagreed with the decision, but respected it.

CNN head of product and Morse’s No. 2 at CNN+ Alex MacCallum will run CNN Digital and she will work with Licht.

WarnerMedia invested a lot of money and time in CNN+ and made a number of high-profile on-air hires for the service, including former NPR co-host Audie Cornish, former Fox News Sunday moderator Chris Wallace and former MSNBC host/NBC News correspondent Kasie Hunt. Wallace and Hunt both hosted daily shows on the streaming service. It remains to be seen if they’ll be leaving CNN, or remain with the company and take on new roles. Their CNN+ shows will continue to stream through the end of April.

Here’s what Hunt has to say about her future at the company: