Chris Wallace to Relaunch Short-Lived CNN+ Interview Show on HBO Max in the Fall

CNN May 19 announced that short-lived CNN+ series “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” will relaunch on HBO Max this fall, with featured interviews also airing on CNN. The move is part of Warner Bros. Discovery to further meld brands within the company across the media company’s flagship HBO Max streaming platform.

Launched just before consummation of Discovery’s majority operational control of WarnerMedia, the CNN+ SVOD platform was largely greeted with indifference, reportedly generating less than 10,000 viewers a day.

Initial episodes of “Who’s Talking” featured interviews with CEOs and media moguls, Hollywood legends and newsmakers across politics, business, world affairs, sports and culture. Guests appearing throughout the show’s debut included former CEO of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger, former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, author of the 1619 Project Nikole Hannah-Jones, actors Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, and many more.

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“Part of the CNN brand is respectful, authentic and impactful interviews and one of the best interviewers in the business is Chris Wallace,” Chris Licht, CEO of CNN Worldwide, said in a statement.

Wallace will continue to serve as an anchor for CNN, joining the network in January 2022 after more than 50 years in broadcasting, including 18 years with Fox News, where he was the anchor of “Fox News Sunday.”

Throughout his almost two decades at Fox, Wallace participated in coverage of every major political event and secured high-profile interviews with dignitaries and U.S leaders. Wallace was chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates to moderate the first presidential debate of the 2020 election season. In 2016, Wallace became the first journalist from Fox to moderate a general election presidential debate, and in August 2015, Wallace co-moderated the first GOP presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle along with the network’s second and third debates.

Wallace is also the New York Times best-selling author of Countdown bin Laden: The Untold Story of the 247-Day Hunt to Bring the Mastermind of 9/11 to Justice and Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World.

Before joining Fox, Wallace spent 14 years at ABC News, where he served as the chief correspondent for Primetime Thursday and a substitute host for Nightline. Prior to ABC, Wallace was NBC’s chief White House correspondent and moderated Meet the Press, making him the only person to have hosted two Sunday talk shows. He also anchored the Sunday edition of NBC Nightly News. Wallace began his career as a city hall reporter for the Boston Globe.

Trump & Son Celebrate CNN+ Shuttering, Netflix Fiscal Woes

Former President Donald Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., wasted little time celebrating the pending shutdown of CNN+, with Trump also taking a swing at former Fox News host Chris Wallace, and his son piling on the fiscal woes of SVOD pioneer Netflix.

Citing changing priorities, CNN+ is set to cease operations on April 30 after reportedly spending $300 million on the platform and generating just 150,000 subscribers. Wallace, who left Fox to join CNN+, had been marketed as one of the platform’s headliners. Warner Bros. Discovery is focusing streaming operations on HBO Max and Discovery+.

In separate social media posts, Trump, through his spokesperson’s Twitter account, continued his long-running feud with CNN, which he has long accused of distributing “fake” news.

As president, Trump tried to quash AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner largely due to his dislike of CNN.

“Congratulations to CNN+ on their decision to immediately FOLD for a lack of ratings, or viewers in any way, shape, or form,” Trump wrote. “It was like an empty desert out there despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars and the hiring of Chris Wallace, a man who tried so hard to be his father, Mike, who lacked the talent and whatever is necessary to be a star.”

Trump characterized the streamer as “just one more piece of CNN and fake news we don’t have to be bothered with.”

Separately, Don Jr. piled on Netflix’s disastrous fiscal week that saw the SVOD behemoth lose almost 40% market valuation after posting a 200,000 first-quarter subscriber loss and projecting another 2 million sub loss in the current quarter.

Parodying Netflix management, Trump’s son tweeted: “We can’t figure out why we’re hemorrhaging hundreds of thousands of subscribers.”

He then posted a picture of new Netflix series, “He’s Expecting.”

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CNN+ Subscription Streaming Service to Shut Down After Just One Month of Operation

CNN’s late-to-the-party branded subscription streaming VOD platform, CNN+, is set to shut down April 30, just weeks after launching. The service, which bowed shortly before the completion of the deal that created the new Warner Bros. Discovery media company (formerly WarnerMedia), reportedly suffered from low subscriber growth and internal conflicts about its role in the company, which is banking on the global rollout of HBO Max and Discovery+.

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“As we become Warner Bros. Discovery, CNN will be strongest as part of WBD’s streaming strategy which envisions news as an important part of a compelling broader offering along with sports, entertainment, and nonfiction content,” Chris Licht, Chairman and CEO of CNN Worldwide, said in a statement. “We have therefore made the decision to cease operations of CNN+ and focus our investment on CNN’s core news-gathering operations and in further building CNN Digital.”

According to data from Sensor Tower, the CNN app gained just 18,000 installs March 29, the day CNN+ launched, and about 9,000 installs daily in the week after. CNN+ usage was estimated to be fewer than 10,000 viewers per day according to some reports. The CNN cable network averages just over 750,000 viewers a day.

Media reports say about $300 million was spent on CNN+, with a content budget expected to approach $1 billion over the next few years. Many of the platform’s original programs will be distributed across other digital channels within the company.

 

CNN+ Subscription Streaming Service Launches on Roku Platform

CNN+, the upstart subscription streaming video service from Warner Bros. Discovery’s CNN operation, is now available in the U.S. on the Roku platform — a must-have conduit to the internet for third-party apps.

Roku users will be able to download the CNN+ app through the Roku channel store, which will contain both the subscription streaming service and access to the existing “TV everywhere” option for pay-TV subscribers, including the live TV feeds of CNN, CNN International and HLN.

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CNN+, which launched March 29 priced at $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year, features upwards of 12 live daily shows, new CNN+ Original Series and a library of more than 1,000 hours of programming from the CNN Original Series and CNN Films teams. Additionally, the streamer’s Interview Club feature available on desktop, mobile and tablets, enables subscribers to drive the conversation and be part of the story. The full schedule of live, daily and weekly series on the app is available here.

CNN+ SVOD Platform Officially Launches

CNN+, the branded streaming subscription service from CNN, March 29 debuted in the U.S. with three types of content: live, on-demand and interactive programming — the pay-TV channel’s first direct-to-consumer access to the brand’s journalism and storytelling.

To mark the occasion, Ted Turner, founder of CNN in 1980 as the world’s first 24-hour global news network, became the first subscriber of CNN+.

Subscribers can access CNN+ on the desktop and a range of supported smartphones, tablets and streaming devices, including Amazon Fire TV, Android phones and tablets and Apple devices (via the App Store on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD). On these platforms, users can download the CNN app, which will contain both the CNN+ subscription service and access to the existing TV everywhere experience for pay-TV subscribers, including the live TV feeds of CNN, CNN International and HLN as well as a robust on-demand offering. Additional device support for CNN+ will be available in the coming months.

Available for purchase at $5.99 monthly or $59.99 per year, early subscribers that sign up within the first four weeks directly will have access to the “Deal of a Lifetime,” or 50% off the monthly plan for life as long as they remain subscribers.

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At launch, 8-12 live daily shows will debut, in addition to the first episode of a slate of weekly programming, new CNN+ Original Series, and a library of more than 1,000 hours of award-winning programming from the CNN Original Series and CNN Films teams. Additionally, the Interview Club platform is now available as a thriving community that will allow subscribers to drive the conversation and be part of the story.

CNN+ was first announced in July 2021. Additional CNN+ shows, talent, content offerings and business updates for 2022 and beyond will be released in the days, weeks, months and years to come.

CNN Launching Branded SVOD Platform ‘CNN+’ March 29

CNN is finally entering the direct-to-consumer business.

The WarnerMedia news unit March 11 announced that its branded foray into subscription streaming video will debut on March 29 in the United States. CNN+ will be available at $5.99 monthly or $59.99 per year. Consumers that sign up within the first four weeks after March 29 directly with CNN+ will have access 50% off the monthly plan for life as long as they remain subscribers.

“March 29 will be an important day in the history of CNN and CNN+ will be a critical part of our future,” Andrew Morse, EVP, Chief Digital Officer and Head of CNN+, said in a statement. “I am so proud of the work our teams have done to ensure our world class journalism and storytelling comes to life on this new platform.”

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First announced last July, CNN+ aims to offer subscribers live, on-demand and interactive programming, including an interactive channel to engage with CNN’s journalism and storytelling.

“We’re excited for everyone to experience CNN+ and see what we’ve been working on,” said Alex MacCallum, CNN Worldwide Head of Product and General Manager for CNN+. “We have a really compelling content offering with CNN’s world class journalists and are confident in the product offered at this compelling price.”

CNN will have a single CNN app that will offer access to both CNN+ and TVE experiences, with navigation between the two. In the single CNN app, CNN+ users can explore a range of editorially-curated and personalized experiences that suit their interests. Pay-TV customers will still have the  “TV Everywhere” experience, including access to CNN’s linear TV feeds of CNN, CNN International and HLN as well as a substantial on-demand offering, which will be available exclusively to pay-TV subs.

CNN+ Streaming Service to Bow Original Eva Longoria Series

CNN’s pending subscription streaming video service, CNN+, is set to launch early next year with an original six-part series featuring actress, producer, director and activist Eva Longoria.

In a spin-off on the CNN original series “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy,” the new series, “Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico,” finds the actress traversing Mexico exploring one of the most popular, and arguably misunderstood, global cuisines. From harvesting blue agave for tequila as the Aztecs once did, to slow cooking traditional mole sauce in Oaxaca, Longoria journeys across the many vibrant regions of Mexico to reveal its unique and colorful cuisines.

The show will debut exclusively on CNN+, which is set to launch in the first quarter of 2022. “Searching for Mexico” will contribute to CNN+’s slate of original on-demand programming available later in 2022.

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“Eva’s passion for Mexico and its culture and cuisine are a natural follow up to Stanley’s trip through Italy,” said Amy Entelis, EVP for talent and content development at CNN Worldwide. “We are thrilled she will take her journey on CNN+.”

Chris Wallace Departs Fox News for Pending CNN+ Streaming Service

Chris Wallace, the longtime host of “Fox News Sunday,” is leaving the Fox News network for the new startup streaming service CNN+, which is set to launch in early 2022. Wallace made the announcement Dec. 12 on his show.

“Eighteen years ago, the bosses here at Fox promised me they would never interfere with a guest I booked or a question I asked. And they kept that promise,” Wallace said in a statement.

Fox, in a statement, said it remains “extremely proud” of its journalism and the “stellar team” Wallace was a part of.

“The legacy of ‘Fox News Sunday’ will continue with our star journalists, many of whom will rotate in the position until a permanent host is named,” Fox said.

Without mentioning CNN, the liberal-leaning network owned by WarnerMedia, Wallace, son of late CBS “60 Minutes” icon Mike Wallace, said he left to pursue “something new … beyond politics” covering topics he’s also interested in.

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CNN+ will feature original, live, on demand and interactive programming as a standalone direct-to-consumer service with offerings that are separate from CNN, CNN International, HLN and CNN en Español linear TV channels. At launch, the unpriced platform will stream upwards of 12 hours of live, daily programming offering topical deep dives and lifestyle content with viewers able to connect directly with anchors and experts in real time conversations.

“I’m ready for a new adventure,” Wallace said. “And I hope you’ll check it out.”

In a separate statement released by CNN, Wallace said he looks forward to the new “freedom and flexibility” streaming affords in interviewing major figures across the news landscape.

Scott Galloway Hired as Co-Host of Pending CNN+ Streaming Service

Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at NYU’s Stern School of Business and dubbed “serial entrepreneur,” has been named a host of CNN+, the pending subscription streaming service launching in the first quarter of 2022 with about 12 hours of original programming. Galloway will host a show on the streamer covering the melding of business and technology.

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Host of the “Prof G Show” and co-host of the “Pivot” podcast, which was named by AdWeek as the business podcast of the year in 2020, Galloway has founded nine online companies, including Prophet, Red Envelope, L2 and Section4.

No launch date or pricing for CNN+ has been disclosed.

Kasie Hunt Hired to Co-Anchor CNN+ Streaming Service

Former NBC News correspondent and MSNBC anchor Kasie Hunt has been hired by CNN as a new anchor and chief national affairs analyst for the network and its pending subscription streaming service, CNN+, launching in 2022. The hiring was announced Aug. 10 by CNN president Jeff Zucker.

Hunt, whose show will be about politics, will be based in Washington, D.C., and begins her new position on Sept. 7.

CNN+ joins Peacock and Paramount+, all of which are moving aggressively into live news streaming. The pending Fox Weather streaming platform will focus on live forecasts and related programming.

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