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Eva Longoria and Chris Wallace’s CNN+ shows will move to HBO Max and CNN – TechCrunch

Programming that was originally intended to live on the now shuttered CNN+ streamer will now move to CNN and HBO Max, Warner Bros. Discovery announced today during its first Upfront presentation for advertisers. Shows moving to the CNN linear network include “Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico” and “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy”. Another title that was intended for CNN+, “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace” – featuring longtime former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace – will move to both HBO Max and CNN in the fall.

It’s unclear at this time when the rest of the CNN+ slate will end, or if some CNN+ titles will later arrive on HBO Max later.

Prior to the launch of CNN+, HBO Max was the streaming home for many CNN titles, including “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.” HBO Max is a good place for these shows, as Warner Bros. Discovery shared with advertisers that HBO Max and Discovery+ improve the consumer experience with a light ad load, averaging less than four minutes of ads per hour. Additionally, 80% of viewers watch HBO Max and Discovery+ on their TV screens, and half are cord cutters. According to the company, this extends advertisers’ reach to unwired homes.

We don’t know what the combined streaming service will look like once HBO Max and Discovery+ fully merge. However, the variety of content – including CNN titles – on offer will certainly appeal to a diverse audience.

Additionally, during the company’s Upfront presentation, Chris Licht, President and CEO of CNN Worldwide, announced the launch of a long-form news show as well as upcoming titles such as “The Story of HQ Trivia “, “See It Loud: The History of Black Television”, “The 2010s”, “Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down” and “Little Richard: I Am Everything”.

The 2023 lineup is an attempt by CNN to return as a recently launched streaming service. The short-lived streaming service, CNN+, reportedly saw fewer than 10,000 viewers a day and was shut down in late April. It seems CEO David Zaslav wasn’t about to let that tarnish Warner Bros.’ new merger. Discovery.

On CNBC’s Squawk Box, Zaslav said, “We looked at it, and we looked at the data, the number of users… They had spent a huge amount of money trying to sell an independent product. The subscribers weren’t there. The users weren’t there… when we looked at the data, the company wasn’t there.

For nearly 30 days, the cable news network’s streaming service spent $250 million to launch the product and another $100 million to promote it. The New York Times reported that CNN planned to spend more than $1 billion on CNN+ over four years, according to people familiar with the matter. Thus, Zaslav was (rightly) unwilling to invest more in the platform.

But CNN itself is going nowhere, and the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery is optimistic for the brand. During the Upfront presentation, the company expressed its determination to strengthen CNN’s role as a leading news organization. Licht boasted that CNN was “the number one digital property in the world”.

He added:

The next chapter of CNN is where we aspire to be a beacon for the kind of journalism essential to the functioning of a democracy. A time when extremes dominate cable news. We will seek to take a different path, reflecting the real lives of our viewers and elevating the way America and the world perceive this medium. We intend to challenge the traditional philosophy of cable news, delivering programming and commentary that challenges the status quo, breaks down groupthink, holds our leaders on both sides of the aisle accountable for facts and fight fearlessly to discover the truth.

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