CNN+ may not have worked, but perhaps CNN on Max will.
Warner Bros. Discovery is planning to launch new original programs from CNN that will stream on its Max streaming service, according to three people familiar with the matter. Jim Sciutto, Bianna Golodryga, Rahel Solomon and Christiane Amanpour are among the CNN journalists who have been tapped to take part in the effort, according to two of these people.
CNN and Max could make an announcement about the project as soon as Thursday, according to these people, and would likely provide greater detail. A spokeswoman for CNN declined to comment and a spokesman for Max declined to comment.
Warner Bros. Discovery scuttled the nascent CNN+ streaming service within days of taking over CNN’s corporate parent, once known as WarnerMedia, from AT&T in 2022. Now the company seems more eager to make CNN programming available to cord-cutters, perhaps realizing that the cable-news giant, a staple of linear TV, will continue to face declines in its available audience. CNN’s subscriber base is expected to fall to 66.3 million by the end of 2024, according to projections from Kagan, a market-research unit of S&P Global Intelligence, compared with 70.3 million at the end of this year.
CNN’s cable and satellite distributors typically expect to get first crack at the programming CNN devises. It’s an issue that rivals like MSNBC and Fox News Channel have already had to navigate. The Fox Nation streaming outlet runs Fox News Channel’s opinion programs a day later. Fox News in 2020 unveiled a new international service that puts its programs in countries such as Mexico and Spain. MSBNC in March of last year unveiled a plan to offer episodes of “Morning Joe,” “Deadline: White House,” “The Beat with Ari Melber,” “The ReidOut,” “All In with Chris Hayes” and MSNBC’s opinion programs on the Peacock streaming hub on-demand the day after they air on cable.
CNN+ was the last major project launched under the auspices of the network’s former top executive, Jeff Zucker, and debuted in March of last year, stocked with new programs from anchors like Jake Tapper, Brian Stelter and Kate Bolduan. CNN went on a hiring spree, luring Kasie Hunt from NBC News and Audie Cornish from NPR, along with Chris Wallace from Fox News Channel.
Some of CNN’s content has been available Warner Bros. Discovery streaming hubs like Max or Discovery+ for months. Chris Wallace’s”Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace” is distributed both on Max and on CNN. The new Sunday documentary program, “The Whole Story,” is also available for streaming, as are several of the original documentary series and films produced by CNN over the past decade.
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