The service, dubbed CNN Plus, will be a standalone, direct-to-consumer product separate from CNN’s current TV channels.
At launch CNN Plus is expected to have eight to 12 hours of live, daily programming featuring some of CNN’s best-known talent. It will also have new faces, CNN said.
CNN Plus will also launch with a library of non-fiction, long-form programming including series like Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, This is Life with Lisa Ling and United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell.
Starting CNN Plus continues the trend of media companies shifting their focus to direct-to-consumer streaming products from traditional pay TV as cord-cutting and other changes in consumer behavior slice into wholesale distribution revenue.
CNN will also be developing original series for CNN Plus.
“CNN invented cable news in 1980, defined online news in 1995 and now is taking an important step in expanding what news can be by launching a direct-to-consumer streaming subscription service in 2022,” said Jeff Zucker, chairman of WarnerMedia News and Sports and president of CNN Worldwide. “On top of a television offering that has never been stronger, which remains at the core of what we do today, we will offer consumers a streaming product that grows the reach and scope of the CNN brand in a way that no one else is doing. Nothing like this exists.”
CNN Plus will be overseen by an executive team headed Andrew Morse, chief digital officer for CNN Worldwide, who will supervise content, product development and business operations.
Also on the CNN Plus team are Alex MacCullum, CNN’s Worldwide head of product, who will be GM of CNN Plus; Rebecca Kutler, senior VP and head of programming for CNN Plus; Courtney Coupe, senior VP of content strategy and operations for CNN Plus, and Robyn Peterson, CNN Worldwide’s chief technology officer.
“For 41 years, global audiences have turned to CNN as an essential source of news and information, which is rooted in our deep commitment to quality journalism,” Morse said. “CNN Plus will be built on a foundation of world class reporting and storytelling and a commitment to meet our audiences wherever they are.”
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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