Outgoing employees of CNN’s failed streaming service were “mistakenly” sent network merchandise and notes as a sort of parting gift, according to a new report.
In an in-depth look titled “Inside the Collapse of CNN+, the News Channel’s ‘Apollo Mission,’” The Wall Street Journal revealed that CNN+ staffers who suddenly had to look for new jobs when the service was shuttered inexplicably received boxes with gifts a week later.
The timing could not have been worse as the streaming service ended just weeks after its launch and $300 million investment, as some of the fired staffers reportedly got “boxes filled with network-branded gear, from pens to food containers, as well as items such as a popcorn maker and headphones,” according to the Journal report.
“This is an incredible time to be part of CNN,” one note said. “Build relationships and take time to connect with colleagues and learn so that you make the most of your time here,” read a welcome note in some of the gift boxes.
CNN admitted that the items were sent by mistake, according to WSJ which called it “another gut punch for staffers that had bet on CNN+—drawn by the promise of growth in streaming—only to watch it collapse in epic fashion.”
Some of the earlier swag that made it out seemed like it needed some help.
It’s your Monday morning CNN+ Swag drop!
N+: The Tote
Bag that looks like a formatting error.
Were you supposed to use it to carry all your streaming news around? pic.twitter.com/DvWp1xKt7T
— Bob Eckert (@ozbob) April 25, 2022
New Chairman and CEO of CNN Worldwide Chris Licht addressed the shutdown of the streaming service which he said was not “about quality.”
“As we become Warner Bros. Discovery, CNN will be strongest as part of WBD’s streaming strategy which envisions news as an important part of a compelling broader offering along with sports, entertainment, and nonfiction content,” Licht said at the time of the shutdown. “We have therefore made the decision to cease operations of CNN+ and focus our investment on CNN’s core news-gathering operations and in further building CNN Digital.”
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