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CNN’s new streaming service CNN+ is on the ropes as Warner Bros. Discovery has reportedly suspended all external marketing spending and laid off CNN’s longtime Chief Financial Officer.

According to the report, CNN+ has roughly 150,000 subscribers so far, but Warner Bros. Discovery wants to eventually build one giant service around HBO Max instead.

CNN CFO Brad Ferrer has been replaced with Neil Chugani, Discovery’s current CFO for streaming and international, as part of a broader finance team restructuring.

Additionally, a plan is being considered to replace Chris Cuomo’s 9:00 pm EST primetime slot with a live newscast, instead of personality-driven perspective programming.

That move would be a blow to Chris Wallace, if things were to fall through with CNN+, as he has been rumored to be a possible replacement.

Kurt Schlicter referenced the former Fox News show host in a quote tweet of the Axios report where he claimed, “The best part is Chris Wallace’s utter humiliation.”

As we reported yesterday, Megyn Kelly said she turned down an offer from CNN “because I knew: who is my fanbase going to be over there? I knew who my fans were and I knew that my Fox viewers were not going to follow me to CNN and that the CNN viewers were going to hate my guts.”

Kelly believes that  Wallace is “suffering from that very problem right now.”

On a broader level, Discovery executives are frustrated that the streaming service was launched in the first place prior to the merger.

It would have been easier to pivot the company’s efforts towards something better aligned with Discovery’s goals if CNN held off launching CNN+ until after the merger, Axios noted.

Warner Bros. Discovery executives are also reportedly considering including some CNN+ content on CNN’s app and making that video available for free and supported by ads while other CNN+ programming could live within HBO Max.

David Caron
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