For sure Chris Wallace was pissed off today, and the worst part is he might end up without a show to host.
The long-time voice of reason at Fox News finally left the channel this year and took a position with CNN’s new streaming service, CNN Plus.
But that was before Jeff Zucker imploded and left, and CNN lost most of its viewing audience. And before Discovery Channel David Zaslav bought CNN as part of Warner Media and cleaned house.
The new owners are reportedly not happy with the Chris Wallace-led streaming service, and now Axios is reporting that Zaslav has fired CNN Plus’s COO, Brad Ferrer, and suspended all spending on marketing for the streamer.
CNN Plus is said to have found no more than 150,000 subscribers. No one knows where it is, what it is, how to find it, or what’s going on there. On top of that, CNN is awaiting the May 2 arrival of Zucker’s replacement, Chris Licht.
Discovery’s current CFO for streaming and international, Neil Chugani is now CNN CFO after Brad Ferrer was fired by the new owners.
There have been rumors that the new owners are planning to dramatically shift the network’s primetime shows back to hard news and away from partisan politics.
Sources say corporate parent Warner Bros. Discovery executives are planning to dramatically shift the network’s primetime shows back to hard news and away from partisan politics.
The corporate parent Warner Bros. Discovery executives are aiming to spend money in order to get the cable news side back to straight news reporting.
Initially, CNN executives wanted to have 2 million subscribers for the streaming service in the first year, but only managed to get around 150,000 subscribers.
Now, they are essentially abandoning the streaming service, which leaves Wallace holding the bag and potentially without a show to host.
“Discovery’s experience launching niche subscriptions services, like GolfTV and its Food Network Kitchen App, has informed its strategy to focus on one scaled general entertainment offering around HBO Max, instead of more niche services that have to compete with big apps for subscriber cash.”
“Discovery executives are focused mostly on returning CNN to its journalistic core, a point Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav reiterated in a town hall last week. That includes less of a focus on primetime perspective programming, and more of a focus on hard, breaking news. CNN+ features an array of soft news content, which doesn’t align with Discovery’s broader vision for CNN,” the report added.
For his part, Wallace is furious with the start of the new streaming service for CNN and is threatening to leave.
Jon Nicosia, the former managing editor of Mediaite, broke the story of Wallace being disgruntled on Twitter.
“SOURCE: Chris Wallace is ‘having daily breakdowns’ over the ‘miserable launch’ of @CNNplus. Wants a ‘CNN show or is threatening to walk’ they go on. ‘He is having staffers count how many times a day his promo is playing,’” he said.
SOURCE: Chris Wallace is “having daily breakdowns” over the “miserable launch” of @CNNplus. Wants a “CNN show or is threatening to walk” they go on. “He is having staffers count how many times a day his promo is playing”
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) April 12, 2022
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) April 12, 2022
SOURCE CONT’D: “He’s telling anyone that will listen he wants Cuomo’s old time slot”
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) April 13, 2022
Conservative Brief added:
It is starting to look like Wallace, who was annoyed with Fox News’ coverage of the 2020 election and, in particular, host Tucker Carlson, made the incorrect decision in leaving.
A recent report also detailed how a large number of funds that were set to go into the streaming service are going to be cut.
The news giant was initially planning to invest around $1 billion in the service over the next four years. Hundreds of millions of dollars are expected to be cut from that original investment total. To date, around $300 million has been spent on the subscription service, which includes a sizable marketing investment. The new company’s leadership team still has yet to decide the ultimate fate of CNN+. CNN’s new boss, Chris Licht, will start May 1.
Fox News Primetime host Tucker Carlson reportedly had more to do with former colleague Chris Wallace’s departure from the network than previously known.
The former “Fox News Sunday” host was interviewed by The New York Times and took a number of swipes at his former place of employment.
Wallace left Fox News to join the new CNN streaming service CNN+ where he will not be covering politics but will be interviewing cultural figures.
“I’m fine with opinion: conservative opinion, liberal opinion,” he said of his decision to leave Fox News. “But when people start to question the truth — Who won the 2020 election? Was Jan. 6 an insurrection? — I found that unsustainable.”
He said that he spent “a lot of 2021 looking to see if there was a different place for me to do my job.”