CNN Mistakenly Sent Staffers Gift Boxes After Firing Them From CNN+ Team
The hyped streaming service CNN+, which was supposed to mark a major milestone for the 40 year-old multinational news channel, shut down on April 30 just a month after its initial launch. Following Jeff Zucker’s resignation as president of CNN, internal support for the streaming service crumbled, and CEO David Zaslav effectively killed the service.
Ex-staffers got a slap in the face when after being fired from the month-old streaming service they received gift boxes filled with CNN+ merchandise
including gear, pens, food containers, a popcorn maker, and headphones. The boxes also included what would have been a heartwarming sentiment if not for the grim circumstances of having just been laid off.
“This is an incredible time to be part of CNN,” the enclosed note read. “Build relationships and take time to connect with colleagues and learn so that you make the most of your time here.”
The mailed gifts were apparently sent by mistake to the 400+ workers who were fired from CNN+, a company representative relayed to the Wall Street Journal.
After hiring several hundreds of New York-based production staff who poured in hours of work on daily programming, set design, and an investment of $300 million, Warner Bros. Discovery pulled the plug on the streaming service, laying off hundreds of CNN staffers. Some of the employees said they had left other stable jobs and freelancing work for the exciting experience of what one top producer described as CNN’s “Apollo Mission.”
CBS journalist Wesley Lowery commented on the fallout, sharing his own career insight.
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav didn’t approve of the program even before taking over as the new manager of CNN+, following Jeff Zucker
’s scandalous resignation.
Zaslav looked at the low subscription numbers for the $5.99-a-month service and after only 150,000 subscribers signed up during its first few weeks, decided to pull the plug on a project he most likely viewed as hemorrhaging money. However, CNN executives had argued the service would garner at least two million subscribers within its first year.
Following the abrupt end of CNN+, the new head of CNN Chris Licht
addressed the dejected employees, saying: “This is a uniquely s***** situation. It is not your fault that you had the rug pulled out from underneath you.”
According to Licht, all ex-CNN+ employees will continue to be paid, as well as receive benefits for up to 90 days following their departure.