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CNN+, the just-launched subscription network, could already be headed for disaster: Report

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CNN's new subscription platform, CNN+, could already be headed for disaster.

The video streaming platform, which officially launched on Tuesday, snagged high-level talent from rival networks, most notably Chris Wallace from Fox News and Kasie Hunt from MSNBC. Actress Eva Longoria also joined the platform and will host a travel show focusing on Mexican cuisine. Many of CNN's existing talent will also host shows on CNN+.

But what is happening now?

Fox Business senior correspondent Charles Gasparino reported Wednesday that CNN+ employees could already be headed for the chopping block.

According to Gasparino, hype surrounding CNN+ failed to drive subscriptions, which suggests the expensive new start-up is already bleeding cash.

"@CNNplus employees bracing for layoffs possibly as soon as May amid projections of lackluster sales of new streaming channel," Gasparino reported. "CNN employees say new streaming channel could be merged into larger @discoveryplus as early as May unless subscriptions pick up."

Lackluster subscriptions would, in fact, prove immediately dangerous for CNN because of the massive investment in the new platform.

According to the Washington Post, CNN invested nearly $100 million into CNN+, which included hiring "several hundred employees to build and launch the streaming service."

Not only would poor subscription figures suggest CNN+ is already in catastrophic territory if the report is true, but the second part of Gasparino's report — that CNN+ could be folded into Discovery+ — also has legs.

Earlier this month, Discovery Inc. shareholders agreed to merge with WarnerMedia, the current parent company of CNN, in a $43 billion deal, Reuters reported. As part of the consolidation, HBO Max, a video streaming service under WarnerMedia's umbrella, will be merged with Discovery+.

Thus, if CNN+ does not have enough support to sustain its own platform, it may also find itself under Discovery's flagship streaming platform.

How did CNN respond?

A spokesperson for the network did not directly refute Gasparino's report.

"For the record, we are VERY happy with the launch of CNN+ and are only bracing for a long run of success," said Matt Dornic, CNN's head of strategic communications.

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