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CNN Finally Plusses Up with Subscription Streaming Service

CNN headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia
(Image credit: John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

CNN will be part of the newly merged Warner Bro. Discovery and will launch a new subscription streaming service, CNN Plus (CNN +) within the next year, CNN chief executive Jeff Zucker reportedly told staffers. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, the new streaming platform will have the usual carefully added "plus" mix of exclusive originals, featuring CNN anchors like Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon, who reportedly had incentives in their recently re-upped talent deals tied to OTT subscriber growth metrics.

CNN hasn't confirmed this plan. WSJ cited individuals close to the news company. 

CNN is last among its major competitors to dip its toes in the direct-to-consumer market. 

The cable channel's ratings have fallen since the end of the election season. But when the national news cycle was more active--and it will certainly be active again--CNN rose to the cable news ratings.

In fact, in April of last year, CNN averaged the No. 1 audience in all of cable.

Zucker was expected to step down when his contract expired at the end of 2021. However, with former NBC network chief known to enjoy a good relationship with the Discovery Inc. President and CEO David Zaslav, who will head Warner Bros. Discovery, there's a belief that he might forestall that departure. 


Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!