CNN Plans to Launch Paid Streaming Service and Cut 100 Jobs Amid Newsroom Layoffs

CNN Plans to Launch Paid Streaming Service and Cut 100 Jobs Amid Newsroom Layoffs

Mihir Gadhvi 10/07/2024
CNN Plans to Launch Paid Streaming Service and Cut 100 Jobs Amid Newsroom Layoffs

CNN is set to launch a new paid streaming service while also cutting around 100 jobs, CEO Mark Thompson announced on Wednesday.

The network, which was once a leader in cable news, plans to introduce its new subscription news product by the end of 2024. This venture, expected to surpass $1 billion in investment, aims to deliver top-tier, subscriber-focused content, Thompson detailed in a memo to staff.

"We are creating best-in-class, subscriber-first products that provide need-to-know news, analysis, and context in compelling formats and experiences," Thompson stated. "This starts with our first subscription product launching before the end of 2024."

This announcement follows the short-lived attempt by CNN to launch a paid streaming service in 2022, which was terminated shortly after the merger of CNN's parent company, WarnerMedia, with Discovery.

Approximately a year after Chris Licht was replaced by Thompson, who previously held positions at the BBC and the New York Times, the network is undergoing significant strategic changes. These changes are in response to criticism of the network's editorial direction and its lagging ratings compared to rivals Fox News and MSNBC.

CNN's new plan involves an initial "need-to-know" subscription product, which will be followed by "want-to-use" offerings focused on lifestyle journalism. This strategy aims to cater to a diverse range of subscriber interests.

Moreover, CNN plans to consolidate its three distinct newsrooms for US newsgathering, international newsgathering, and global digital news into a single, unified organization. This restructuring is expected to result in the elimination of about 100 jobs from CNN's global workforce of 3,500 employees.

CNN has been struggling with lower ratings in the US, falling behind competitors Fox News and MSNBC. The network hosted a significant event, the first US presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump on June 27, but it still faces the broader challenge of adapting to the rapidly evolving media landscape.

The decision to launch a paid streaming service represents CNN's effort to innovate and secure a sustainable revenue model in the face of declining traditional cable viewership. By focusing on high-quality, subscription-based content, CNN aims to retain its position as a leading news provider while meeting the changing demands of modern audiences.

As CNN embarks on this ambitious new direction, the company hopes to redefine its role in the media industry through innovative subscription services and a streamlined organizational structure. While the job cuts are a difficult but necessary step, the launch of the new streaming service marks a pivotal moment for CNN as it seeks to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.

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Mihir Gadhvi

Tech Expert

Mihir Gadhvi is the co-founder of illustrake and HAYD. Illustrake is a D2C Enabler and offers Performance Marketing, Retention Marketing, and Content Creation Services. HAYD is a brand New, homegrown fashion line that aims to make clothing easy for us without taxing our planet. Although the concept is quite known now, HAYD wants to accomplish sustainability by reducing its impact on the environment with safe and fair manufacturing.

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