CNN accidentally sent welcome baskets to employees fired after streaming service CNN+ flopped

Signage at CNN Center, Thursday, April 21, 2022, in Atlanta.

Signage at CNN Center, Thursday, April 21, 2022, in Atlanta.Mike Stewart/AP

  • CNN accidentally sent welcome baskets to employees who were laid off after CNN+ was shut down.

  • CNN+, a paid subscription service, launched in late March and was discontinued weeks later.

  • The blinded streaming service caused hundreds of employees to lose their jobs, the Wall Street Journal reported.

CNN accidentally sent welcome baskets to employees who were laid off after CNN+’s streaming service shut down.

The paid streaming subscription service launched on March 29 and announced it would be discontinued on April 21, Insider previously reported.

A week later, hundreds of fired staffers received welcome gifts, some of which had encouraging notes, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“This is an incredible time to be a part of CNN,” a note per WSJ said. “Build relationships and take the time to connect with colleagues and learn so you can make the most of your time here.”

CNN told WSJ that the baskets — which included branded items, pens, headphones and a popcorn maker — were sent by mistake.

CNN spent a whopping $250 million on the launch and saw meager audience engagement out of the gate, never exceeding 10,000 viewers at any one time, per CNBC.

Company insiders blamed former CNN president Jeff Zucker and left WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar for the failure.

“This was all ego. All a power game for a bigger job or independence. Hubris. Nothing more,” a former WarnerMedia exec said of Zucker, Insider previously reported. “The only people who ever thought this was a good idea were either at CNN or trying to persuade CNN+ to hire them. Nobody else.”

Many CNN+ contributors started in the last six months or even just weeks before the March launch, according to WSJ. Employees who fail to find internal CNN positions will receive six months of severance pay if they do not leave the company within 90 days.

A former CNN+ designer, who spoke to Insider on condition of anonymity, said they had only been working for CNN+ for a few months when they learned the service was shutting down.

“I remember texting my roommates and telling them I was fired,” the employee told Insider. “Everyone was completely shocked.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Leave a Comment