Wednesday 18 May 2022 06:16 PM Discovery CEO David Zaslav defends shut-down of doomed CNN+ because there were ... trends now
CNN will be returning to straight news reporting, Discovery CEO David Zaslav said Wednesday, a departure from the 24-hour opinion channel it became under fired CEO Jeff Zucker.
'People in America are looking for a place where people aren't yelling and giving their opinions and they're looking for more news. That's what you'll see from CNN,' Zaslav told CNBC's Squawkbox.
The media company boss discussed Zucker's replacement, new CNN CEO Chris Licht, and spoke for the first time about why CNN+ crashed and burned.
Zaslav said that the Atlanta-based cable news company would steer away from the left-leaning advocacy outlet it had become.
'We think that CNN is a critical asset to us. It' a leader in news gathering around he world. Most of the cable networks around the world and here in the US are advocacy networks. There're advocacy networks to the left, there're advocacy networks to the right. We think there's a real opportunity for CNN,' he said making a motion in middle with his hand.'
Licht, a former producer for The Late Night With Steven Colbert, will soon begin a makeover that will see straight, unbiased news take priority over woke nightly preaching from ego-crazed hosts on eight-figure salaries.
'Chris is going to be advocating for truth, he's going to be advocating for facts , he's going to be advocating for journal-ism first,' Zaslav said. 'I think there's a very big lane for CNN.
The boss of CNN's new parent company has confirmed the CNN+ streaming service was axed after just 22 days because of poor subscriber numbers.
Zaslav told MSNBC Wednesday that there'd been 'no message' behind the axing of the $300 million megaflop beyond its exceptionally poor sign-up rate.
'On CNN+ there was no message,' he said. 'It was a business decision.'
'We looked at it. We looked at the data. They had spent an enormous amount of money trying to sell an independent product.
'The subscribers weren't there. The users weren't there. We looked at it together. We had a chance to look at all the data, and when we looked at the data the business wasn't there.'
CNN+, which would charge $5.99 per month, had only attracted 150,000 subscribers in the first few weeks. Axed former CNN CEO Jeff Zucker spent $300 million on the service, which was axed on April 27 with the loss of 300 jobs.
Discovery CEO David Zaslav said that Americans are looking for a news source where people aren't yelling at them or giving their opinion
After spending $300 million, CNN+ was shutdown and 300 employees were fired within weeks of launching
Former CEO Jeff Zucker, left, stepped down form his position in early April as it was revealed he had a relationship with CNN's executive vice president and chief marketing officer Allison Gollust, right, who stepped down from her position a few weeks after
'This isn't show friends. This is show business. We're very disciplined. We invest where we think we can get returns.'
It's unclear if that was intended as a swipe at Zucker who made it a point to befriend the network's on-air talent like Chris Cuomo, who was also fired from the network after it was revealed that he used his press contact to go after the women who accused his brother New York Governor Andrew of sexual harassment.
Andrew Cuomo resigned from office an a New York State Attorney General investigation found that he had acted inappropriately with 11 women.
Zaslav told Squawkbox that it was time for the network to stop chasing business trends after the downturn in Netflix, a leader in the streaming business, which laid of 1500 employees