Can CNN make streaming work?

CNN+ is launching in March with a line-up of celebs including Alison Roman, Eva Longoria and Audie Cornish.

The ubiquitous news channel CNN has been on a bumpy ride.

In December, the network fired its top-rated news anchor, Chris Cuomo, who was caught up in a scandal involving his brother (and former New York Gov.) Andrew Cuomo.

More broadly, the cable news industry saw ~4m households drop subscriptions. Analysts call the decline the “post-Trump slump,” referring to declining news interest.

In March, CNN will launch its streaming service…

… and, naturally, it’s going to be called CNN+. Per The New York Times, the offering — which hasn’t announced pricing — will have 3 types of content:

  • Loyal viewers who want more Anderson Cooper, Fareed Zakaria and Jake Tapper (cool)
  • Younger groups that don’t pay for cable
  • Nonfiction geeks who want more documentaries and news

A successful streaming service can bolster CNN, which lags behind Fox and MSNBC in total viewers.

Bring on the star power

To make its launch a hit, CNN+ is shelling out huge bucks for stars, per NYT.

  • Instagram celeb Alison Roman will host a cooking show
  • Actress Eva Longoria will host a culinary travelogue
  • NPR host Audie Cornish will helm a weekly streaming show

CNN+ will not lack resources: Its parent company, WarnerMedia, is in the process of merging with content giant Discovery.

As Netflix’s recent stumbles show, people may be streamed out… no matter how much Anderson Cooper is on offer.

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