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WarnerMedia plans to launch CNN+, a standalone news streaming service, in the US during the first quarter of 2022.
The subscription service — which will be separate from CNN’s cable channels — is geared toward the network’s “superfans, news junkies and fans of quality non-fiction programming,” the news outlet said in a press release on Monday.
At launch, CNN+ will feature 8 to 12 hours of live, daily programming, which will include library content, new original series and films developed for the service. CNN+ will not be a separate app, but subscribers will have access to the streaming service within CNN’s existing branded app.
“CNN invented cable news in 1980, defined online news in 1995 and now is taking an important step in expanding what news can be by launching a direct-to-consumer streaming subscription service in 2022,” CNN president and WarnerMedia chairman Jeff Zucker said in a statement.
“On top of a television offering that has never been stronger, which remains at the core of what we do today, we will offer consumers a streaming product that grows the reach and scope of the CNN brand in a way that no one else is doing. Nothing like this exists,” said Zucker.
Reuters noted that it is unclear whether or not Zucker, who announced in February he would leave CNN at the end of the year, will stay and be involved with the CNN+ launch.
According to CNN, the new service’s executive team will be led by Andrew Morse, the chief digital officer for CNN Worldwide, with Alex MacCallum, the head of product for CNN, serving as CNN+’s general manager.
Rebecca Kutler, Courtney Coupe and Robyn Peterson will oversee programming, content strategy and operations, and technology, respectively, while the CNN original series team will oversee CNN+ originals.
Details on programming and pricing will be announced at a later date.
CNN is the last major news network to start a streaming channel, though it did offer a separate feed for live programming on CNN.com in the early 2000s that was eventually discontinued, Deadline reported.
The announcement comes as AT&T Inc prepares to spin off WarnerMedia to join forces with Discovery to create a streaming giant.
The $43 billion deal — which is expected to close in 2022 — will combine WarnerMedia’s properties, such as CNN, HBO, TBS, TNT and Warner Bros. Pictures, with Discovery’s portfolio, which includes HGTV, TLC and the Food Network.
Morse told Variety there are not any official plans to create a subscription bundle with CNN+, HBOMax or other WarnerMedia services, but some sources told the outlet there is a “strong possibility” that could change after the merger gets finalized next year.
Source: Equities News