CNN to ramp up streaming as viewers quit cable

·2-min read
Jeff Zucker, the head of CNN parent company WarnerMedia's news and sports division, described the new service as "an important step in expanding what news can be"

CNN unveiled plans Monday to launch a subscription streaming service next year in a stepped up effort to connect with viewers without cable or satellite television.

The pioneering 24-hour news channel will be hiring hundreds of new employees for the service to be called CNN+ that will debut in early 2023.

"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 parent firm WarnerMedia's news and sports division and president of CNN Worldwide.

The move comes as viewers increasingly abandon cable and satellite "bundles" which have been a mainstay for CNN, whose original name was Cable News Network.

Rupert Murdoch's rival Fox Corp. has created a similar application called Fox Nation, launched in 2018.

CNN+ will be "a new, additive experience that complements the core CNN linear networks and digital platforms to serve CNN superfans, news junkies and fans of quality non-fiction programming," according to a statement.

This will deliver on-demand programs, Netflix style, to viewers such as news, series and films, including the travel show "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown."

CNN+ will also develop its own original programming for the new application.

It will be a paid service with different programming that the current cable offer, but details of the subscription plan were not disclosed.

It will be initially available in the United States followed by a global rollout.

A CNN report said some 450 people would be hired for the service including producers, engineers and marketing professionals, bringing the total staff of CNN some 4,000.

"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," said Andrew Morse, CNN Worldwide chief digital officer.

"CNN+ will be built on a foundation of world class reporting and storytelling and a commitment to meet our audiences wherever they are."

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