CNN+ shutting down, streaming platform’s head to leave company

camera enabled radio studio

CNN+ will cease operations effective April 30, just a little more than one month after it first launched.

CNN and Warner Bros. Discovery announced the move on Thursday (April 21). Along with the shuttering of the new streaming service, CNN announced that Andrew Morse, executive vice president and chief digital officer of CNN Worldwide and the head of CNN+, has decided to leave the company following a transition period.

Chris Licht, CNN Worldwide chairman and CEO, said in a statement on Thursday that the company will instead focus its investment on CNN’s core news-gathering operations and building CNN Digital. He added that Warner Bros. Discovery envisions news to be part of a broader streaming strategy, along with sports, entertainment and non-fiction content.

“This is not a decision about quality; we appreciate all of the work, ambition and creativity that went into building CNN+, an organization with terrific talent and compelling programming. But our customers and CNN will be best served with a simpler streaming choice,” Licht said.

He added that the company is grateful for Morse’s contributions to CNN Digital and CNN+.

“Our journalism has never been stronger, nor has it reached more people in more places across more platforms than it does today,” Morse said in a statement. “I am a great believer that change is critical – for individuals and for organizations. As the company enters an exciting period of change, it is a logical time to make a change for myself. I’ll always be rooting for CNN.”

Alex McCallum, head of product for CNN Worldwide and general manager of CNN+, will step in to lead CNN Digital in Morse’s absence. She’ll work with Licht to determine a leadership strategy moving ahead.

CNN+ customers will receive prorated refunds for their subscription fees.

The streaming platform launched on March 29, after being initially announced last summer.  It was designed to complement CNN’s core linear networks and digital platforms, with the content library including on-demand series and films, along with live original programming.

By Andrew Jeffrey, Realscreen