According to a report, former CNN+ employees, who were fired last month following the abrupt shutdown of the month-long streaming service, received gift boxes the following week that were filled with CNN+ swag.
CNN’s new parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, “accidentally” gave employees a “gut punch” because gifts were “accidentally” sent to employees fired a week ago, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The boxes included branded gear from pens to food containers, as well as items such as popcorn makers and headphones, with the publication reporting that some of the boxes included welcome notes.
“This is an incredible time to be a part of CNN,” one note 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 the Journal that the gifts were sent by accident, but a gesture of bad timing rubbed salt into an already raw wound.
Roughly 400 employees were recruited to work for CNN’s new streaming service, a startup that cost $300 million to get off the ground before being shut down by new owners within a month of its launch. .
After AT&T spun off WarnerMedia in a $43 billion merger with Discovery to form Warner Bros. was looking for
According to the report, CEO David Zaslav decided to kill CNN+ after learning the $5.99-a-month service signed up about 150,000 customers in its first few weeks and could be viewed by between 5,000 and 10,000 people at any given time. Had been.
The numbers were a bad sign, even though CNN employees argued that CNN+ was on track to hit its internal goals of 2 million US subscribers in the first year, and the plug was pulled too soon.
Discovery and WarnerMedia completed their merger on Friday, April 8, and on April 14, Zaslav and top executives decided to liquidate CNN+, the Journal reported. Two days later, CNN’s new head Chris Licht addressed nearly 400 employees at the network’s New York City offices to break the news of the streaming service’s shutdown.
“It’s a typical sh-tie situation,” Licht said at the time.
The new exec was brought in to replace Jeff Zucker, who wanted to launch CNN+ in late March. Zucker never had the opportunity to get his final product off the ground as he resigned in early February after his years-long relationship with chief marketing officer Allison Golst went public.
CNN+’s last day of operation was April 28 and according to sources, the CNN+ logo was removed from sight.
Employees said a giant CNN+ sculpture was pulled out of the building and replaced with one for HBO Max, the company’s main streaming service.