Warner Bros. Discovery (CNN's new parent company) has reportedly suspended all external marketing spending for CNN+ and even laid off CNN's chief financial officer as it decides how to handle the service going forward, says Axios. Other high-level WarnerMedia positions across different functions are likely to undergo a restructuring in the coming weeks, as well.
In a separate move, sources told Axios that leadership is considering a plan to replace former primetime host Chris Cuomo's 9 p.m. ET slow with a live newscast, instead of "personality-driven perspective programming," Axios summarizes. That decision appears in line with Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav's plan to push CNN away from opinion content and back toward its hard, breaking news core.
But meanwhile, CNN executives and Discovery executives have reportedly been at odds over the CNN+ strategy as a whole. Discovery executives wish CNN had waited until after the merger to launch the service, while CNN execs worry their hard work is about to be dismantled.
All in all, "bad timing, limited communications, and misaligned incentives" appear to blame for the process' shortcomings, Axios writes. Though Discovery's team thought they made clear what they wanted, "CNN executives didn't feel corporate pressure from WarnerMedia to pause the rollout." And Jeff Zucker's unexpected resignation as president of CNN surely didn't help all the back and forth, either.
Read more on the botched internal comms at Axios.