CNN+ seduced me with a subscription to wacky promises | Columns
CNN+’s online trailers appealed to the storyteller in me.
“Explore original stories on every topic; a deep dive into current affairs, true crime, history, food and travel, or pop culture,” a teaser read.
I felt struck by our future together. I imagined us in bed late at night at the end of my workday, enjoying the soft glow of my new iPad. I fantasized about all the entertainment options CNN+ would provide for my late-night world. But would the new streaming service be worth $5.99 a month? Hmmm. I played hard to get for a few weeks.
Meanwhile, CNN relentlessly hyped its sexy new lineup, announcing each new big-name hire like models on a fashion show: longtime Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, NPR veteran Audie Cornish and NBC News’ Kasie Hunt.
Then he scoured CNN’s vast library of previous programs, including every episode of “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” select interviews with Larry King, and an intriguing interview show with former NBA player Rex Chapman. , who sat down with “Ted Lasso” star Jason Sudeikis.
“He celebrated the highs of NBA stardom and bounced back from the lows of opioid addiction,” the show’s trailer told viewers. “If anyone can find the silver lining in today’s toughest headlines, it’s Rex Chapman.”
I’ve always appreciated Chapman’s all-court style of play – intractable, rambling and fearless. Would his interview style reflect these natural traits? Hmmm. I began to see CNN’s “Plus” programming as a one-stop online warehouse for unearthing all kinds of news, media, and entertainment opportunities.
But was it worth six dollars a month? I have no sense when it comes to dollars. I’ll gladly shell out $50 for a fancy, overpriced meal, but I make sure to squeeze every last bit of toothpaste out of a Dollar Store tube. Was CNN+ going to be a fancy new meal or a stain of old toothpaste? I resisted my temptations with the chastity of a stingy.
“If you sign up for CNN+ now, get it half off for the duration of your subscription,” an online ad flirted to me.
That’s it. I registered the next day. I’m a sucker for a “sale”.
Turns out I’m just a sucker.
After watching just one show since the $300 million experiment began on March 29, CNN last week announced the closure of CNN+. CNN+ has gone from one of the most significant developments in CNN history to one of the most spectacular media failures in decades.
“Simply stunning,” wrote one media pundit.
Simply stupid of me.
I fell in love with a doomed barfly who was dolled up like a young vixen at closing time. Shame on me. I might as well have signed up for our former president’s new social media platform. What a fool I am. What I don’t need is another digital Dracula sucking hours to exhaust what little free time I have to spend my day.
I’m already inundated with a daily rain of online news alerts, email notifications, mailing list updates, media industry headlines and other e-droppings from the cyberspace. I should buy an umbrella, not look for another cloud.
“If I go on CNN+, I don’t get CNN, I get more,” joked late night talk show host Stephen Colbert.
I should have listened.
A New York Times The story explored CNN+’s implosion this way: “The corporate tussle over its fate has exposed deep philosophical divisions over the future of digital media, as executives struggle to navigate an evolving marketplace. where technology and consumer habits are changing day by day.”
The decision to shut it down came after CNN’s former parent company, WarnerMedia, merged with Discovery, known for its reality TV programming. The reality about CNN+ is that it didn’t stand a chance after former CNN boss Jeff Zucker resigned after failing to disclose a consensual relationship with a co-worker. Perhaps a show about their romance would have courted Discovery, which funds shows like “90-Day Fiance.”
“In a complex streaming market, consumers want simplicity and a comprehensive service that delivers a better experience and more value than standalone offerings,” CNN new president Chris Licht wrote in a note to members. Staff.
In other words, not enough suckers, I mean subscribers, signed up for the new service, which attracted only 150,000 paying viewers, according to one estimate. For some weird reason, I feel bad for Chris Wallace, who left Fox News over this media debacle. I respect his professionalism in a world of sensational opinion news.
“There just wasn’t a lot of buzz,” a media insider explained of the disappearance to CNN+.
I didn’t realize this until I asked my social media readers about it last month. Crickets.
“I hate CNN,” replied one reader. “Why should I care about her MORE?”
It’s possible more people are now aware of CNN+ since it announced its closure later this week. My adventure with him lasted less than two weeks.
“CNN+ customers will receive a pro-rated refund of subscription fees,” the company told subscribers.
I’m curious to see how much of my one-time donation of $2.99 will go to my bank account. Either way, Rex Chapman’s gripping interview with Jason Sudeikis was well worth it.