As if getting fired by CNN wasn’t bad enough.
The establishment media network soothed over mass firings of CNN+ employees with patronizing ‘gift boxes,’ according to new reporting from the Wall Street Journal.
Hundreds of new employees hired for the ambitious CNN streaming service were let go abruptly last month, with CNN+ shaping up as a ratings and financial disaster.
Many of the same staffers had been left “aghast and furious” by the development, having left stable jobs for the ill-fated streaming experiment.
A week after CNN’s parent company pulled the plug, several of the terminated staffers received boxes with food containers, headphones, popcorn makers, and pens.
In another insult, some of the grab bags included a welcome note to CNN.
“This is an incredible time to be part of CNN,” the note said, even as the brief tenure of CNN+ employees was actually ending.
“Build relationships and take time to connect with colleagues and learn so that you make the most of your time here.”
CNN told the Wall Street Journal that the patronizing gift boxes were sent in error.
CNN+ employees were offered six months of severance pay if they didn’t pivot to a new job within CNN in 90 days.
The failure of CNN+ represents the failure of establishment cable news to pivot to a post-Trump news environment, deprived of the personality-based reality show the channel honed in on during Donald Trump’s presidency.
The network’s new parent company is seeking massive reforms to CNN’s content, hoping to eschew partisan political commentary in favor of hard news and coverage, such as the content the network has produced for the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Discovery made the decision to bring CNN+ to an end when it became clear the enterprise’s dismal subscriber numbers were going nowhere.
The $5.99 monthly service was drawing in as few as 5,000 to 10,000 viewers at any given time, a pitiful audience for a multimedia company with a budget in the hundreds of millions.
Many questioned why the streaming service offered content from Don Lemon and Brian Stelter, two partisan personalities who already produce content for CNN’s cable network with rock-bottom ratings.
Any and all references to CNN+ have been quickly purged from the channel’s New York headquarters, according to the report.
Murals of CNN+ were quickly replaced with new imagery in the building.
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