CNN Plus Launches This Week, Will It Survive?
CNN Plus Launches This Week, Will It Survive?
CNN is closing out one of the most tumultuous quarters in its existence with the launch of CNN Plus, which goes online this Tuesday. The network, which has spent millions on staffing up, office costs, and programming, finally unveiled the new streamer’s daily schedule.
CNN Plus will kick off with seven hours of live programming at 7 am ET with 5 Things with Kate Bolduan. The network will have four hours of live programming in the morning and three hours in the evening, beginning at 5 pm ET.
Those hosting daily live shows include Sara Sidner, Kasie Hunt, Bianca Nobilo, Chris Wallace, and Wolf Blitzer.
The streaming service will also include weekly original programming from CNN anchors like Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon, Jake Tapper, Poppy Harlow, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and newcomer Audie Cornish.
In addition to that, Rex Chapman, Scott Galloway, Jemele Hill, and Cari Champion will also host weekly shows on the streamer.
CNN executives are feeling very bullish on CNN Plus. They believe it will have a place in the very crowded streaming market. It will bring in the younger viewers something its sibling networks cannot do. They also believe it will eventually become the main channel at the network, surpassing CNN/US.
That vision may have worked during the Jeff Zucker era at CNN, but with a new owner in Discovery, which will take over WarnerMedia next month, that vision may be reworked.
Once Warner Bros. Discovery is formed, it will have three streaming services in its arsenal — HBO Max, Discovery Plus, and CNN Plus. New management believes that this is three too many and is already talking about combining HBO Max and Discovery Plus into one product at some point in the future.
What will happen to CNN Plus? Will it be left alone as a stand-alone service, or will it finally be integrated into the new product? As of right now, that is still to be determined.
Those decisions will be made once Chris Licht settles in as CNN’s new president and the performance of CNN Plus can be appropriately graded after a few months into its existence.
CNN may have a solid product with CNN Plus, but it’s entering a tough market. It will face difficulty convincing consumers to pay for it, especially in this climate of high inflation and rising costs to everyday products.
Consumers already pay for CNN through their cable subscriptions; will they feel it’s worth paying for a product that may look like an extension of CNN/US? What does CNN Plus mean for the future of HLN?
As it enters the next quarter, all these questions surrounding CNN and CNN Plus may keep the tumultuous period running just a little bit longer.
(CNN Press Room, Associated Press, Variety, Julia Alexander/Twitter, Jacob Feldman/Twitter)
Black News Channel Shuts Down
After nearly two years of bringing the news from an African American perspective, the plug was abruptly pulled from the Black News Channel this past Friday. The cable channel, which started to see some very modest traction in the cable news sphere, lost funding from its principal backer Shad Khan, the owner of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. Khan was no longer interested in putting his money to support the venture. The news network did try to look for potential buyers, but no one was willing to help the network. BNC’s demise results from sticking to the cable distribution model despite the market showing evidence that consumers are consuming the content in other ways. A total of 230 employees, including Mike Hill and Sharon Reed, are now out of a job. (The Los Angeles Times)
Formula 1’s Return Brings Large Audience To ESPN
After a controversial ending of the final race of the 2021 season that resulted in fierce discussions during the offseason, the new season of Formula 1 started with increased interest on ESPN. The sports channel reported that 1.3 million people tuned in to watch Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc win the season opener. The previous record was set in 2021 when 1.2 million watched the United States Grand Prix. Interest for this season picked up after a controversial decision during the final race of the 2021 season enabled Max Verstappen to overtake Lewis Hamilton on the last lap and win the race and, with that, the 2021 Drivers’ Championship title. (ESPN Press Room)
YouTube Goes After Pluto TV And Tubi
Look out Tubi and Pluto TV; YouTube is coming for your advertising dollars. The social media platform is now offering free, ad-supported TV shows as it looks to compete with other FAST (free, ad-supported streaming TV) services. YouTube, which already has a catalog of 1500 free, ad-supported movies, is adding more than 4000 episodes of TV shows such as 21 Jump Street, The Carol Burnett Show, Scream Queens, Hell’s Kitchen, and Bonanza. YouTube will also debut a new viewing experience, including streamlined navigation. According to Nielsen, last December, YouTube reached over 135 million people on connected TVs in the U.S. Such exposure gives YouTube the confidence to seek out TV ad dollars in the FAST segment. (AdWeek)
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Russia Invades Ukraine: Fox News’ Ben Hall transferred from Germany to the United States as his recovery improved. (Brian Stelter/Twitter)
Former CNN intern, Sierra Jenkins, was killed in Norfolk, Virginia. (Associated Press)
George Solis and Maggie Vespa join NBC News as correspondents, and Meagan Fitzgerald moves from Chicago to London. (TVNewser)
Mike Clay signs a multi-year extension with ESPN. (ESPN Press Room)
Jon Adler was promoted to SVP program development, original series at CNN. (TVNewser)
Rob Wile joins NBC News as a business reporter. (Talking Biz News)
NBC Sports names Rob Hyland coordinating producer for NBC Sunday Night Football. (Brandon Costa/Twitter)
Blake Baumgartner joins ESPN as a college sports reporter. (ESPN PR/Twitter)
Heather Riley moves from a communication role to the executive editorial producer, political programming, and affairs at ABC News. (Oliver Darcy/Twitter)
Eric Strauss has been promoted to executive producer of ABC News’ Medical Unit. (ABC News Public Relations)
It’s official Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit move to Amazon’s Prime Video for Thursday Night Football. (NFL on Prime Video)
Why CBS News’ 60 Minutes is more relevant today. (Forbes)
Chris Wallace on why he left Fox News. (New York Times)
NBC News receives the 2021 Excellence in Health Care Journalism Award from the Association of Health Care Journalists. (NBC News PR/Twitter)
ABC News’ president, Kim Godwin, earned the United Negro College Fund Leadership Award. (TVNewser)
Stephanie Brooks joins MSNBC as a segment producer. (Stephanie Brooks/Twitter)
Joelle Martinez is named west coast bureau chief for CBS News. (ViacomCBS Press Express)
ESPN re-signs MNF director Jimmy Platt to a new three-year deal. (Sports Business Journal)
Thomas Namako was named executive editor of NBC News Digital. (Thomas Namako/Twitter)
Nigel Farage, Piers Morgan join Sky News Australia. (Sky News)
It’s official Mike Tirico takes over on NBC Sports’ Sunday Night Football. (Sports Media Watch)
Alex Korson was named VP of morning programming at MSNBC. (TVNewser)
A lawsuit filed against CNN’s Don Lemon falls apart. (Mediaite)
AppleTV Plus is still a mystery to some. (Vox)
ESPN releases new graphics look and schedule for Alex Rodrigues’ Sunday Night Baseball KayRod broadcasts. (Awful Announcing)
Sinclair’s sports streaming service is coming along. (Next TV)
Why Paramount Plus used 400 drones to launch Halo. (AdWeek)
HBO Max and Discovery Plus face integration challenges. (Variety)
Could Fox Corp. sell Fox Sports? (Front Office Sports)
Watchdog group targets Fox News with an outdoor billboard campaign. (MediaPost)
How ESPN is using March Madness to grow its women’s college basketball programming. (AdWeek)
HBO Max adds a shuffle button for specific shows. (The Streamable)
Fox Nation adds a new show from the Duck Dynasty family. (Brian Steinberg/Twitter)
Netflix could add $1.6 billion per year if it does away with password sharing. (Variety)
College football analyst Kirk Herbstreit signs a multi-year extension with ESPN. (ESPN Press Room)
NBC Sports unveils a new logo for its LPGA Tour tournament coverage on Golf Channel this season. (NBC Sports Group Press Box)
How Kirk Herbstreit fulfilled his NFL goal. (New York Post)
ESPN secures Premier League Lacrosse rights with a four-year deal. (ESPN Press Room)
NBC News Digital excels in February. (NBC News PR)
BBC News files a complaint to the UN over the online harassment of women journalists in Iran. (Variety)
Disney employees stage walkout over Florida’s “No Gay Bill.” (New York Times)
Bozona Saint John talks about her exit from Netflix. (The Hollywood Reporter)
Could Jeff Zucker end up at Paramount Global? (Claire Atkinson/Twitter)
Amazon starts to look for sponsors for its Thursday Night Football. (Broadcasting+Cable)
Could Jeff Zucker be heading to the sports world? (Variety)
NBCU’s Linda Yaccarino says they are not moving away from streaming. (Broadcasting+Cable)
NBCU adds programmatic ad buying to live events and sports. (AdWeek)
Disney divisions post messages of support for LGBTQIA+ on social media. (Brian Stelter/Twitter)
Disney’s Bob Chapek is looking to repair his and his company’s image. (The Wall Street Journal)
60 Minutes and CBS News Radio teams earn awards at the 2022 Writers Guild Awards. (Writers Guild Awards)
Peacock takes advantage of St Peter’s Peacock’s March Madness Cinderella run. (Lost Remote)
Is rebundling the future of streaming? (Quartz)
TV sports announcers are cashing in this offseason. (The Hollywood Reporter)
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A MarkHenry Media LLC publication - Issue #83 - 2022