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Rebecca Kutler, Programming Chief for Shuttered Streamer CNN Plus, To Exit CNN

CNN Plus hi-res logo
(Image credit: CNN)

Rebecca Kutler, programming chief for the defunct CNN Plus, is leaving CNN, Broadcasting + Cable has confirmed.

Kutler's departure comes two months after new CNN parent Warner Bros. Discovery abruptly shuttered the service

CNN -- and then parent AT&T -- moved forward with the disastrous launch of CNN Plus in March just weeks before WarnerMedia's merger with Discovery completed. When it the streamer closed in April, CNN Plus only had a reported 150,000 subscribers and WBD had already stopped externally marketing the service

“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,” said Chris Licht, chairman and CEO of CNN Worldwide, when the decision to drop CNN Plus was announced. “We have therefore made the decision to cease operations of CNN Plus and focus our investment on CNN’s core news-gathering operations and in further building CNN Digital."

Licht, a veteran producer who most recently worked on CBS's The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, was hired back in February to replace ousted CNN President Jeff Zucker.

He laid out CNN's programming plans last month during WBD's upfront presentation without mentioning CNN Plus. But Licht did emphasize the news net's digital footprint, saying “CNN is the No. 1 digital property in the world,” and adding that the company will continue to invest in digital. 

Kutler's departure follows the exit of Andrew Morse, the erstwhile streamer's chief digital officer and architect. Morse, who left when the service shuttered, was replaced by Alex MacCallum as head of CNN Digital. ■

Jessika is content engagement director of Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV. She has been with the brands in various roles since 2013. In her current role, she works primarily behind the screen, keeping an eye on the website and fixing any site bugs. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects for NextTV, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.