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New Original Shows, Documentaries Planned for Stand-Alone Streaming Service ‘CNN+’

Aubrey Chorpenning

CNN is in the process of creating its standalone streaming service, known internally as CNN+. Slowly, more details about the service are becoming available. WSJ reports that the platform will feature shows hosted by the network’s anchors, including Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon.

These shows would be original and would not be duplicates of the shows currently airing on the CNN linear TV channel. The company has recently made deals with its CNN TV channel anchors, including pay increases. CNN plans to feature both live shows and longer documentaries on its streaming service. To help with this, the company is in the process of hiring hundreds of producers, contributors, and developers.

Other cable and broadcast networks have been creating their own streaming services to join the competitive market as more viewers are cutting the cord. Fox News launched Fox Nation, which features news and opinion. NBC offers news programming through its streaming service, Peacock.

At this point, CNN hasn’t revealed too much information about its plans for its streaming service. The executives are still determining subscription costs, advertisements, and tiers. The network has been discussing a low-cost ad-supported tier, which is something that several services offer. At this juncture, it’s also unknown whether CNN+ would be bundled with other streaming services owned by Discovery following its merger with WarnerMedia.

The company first talked about its plans for a streaming service in April, but at that point, those ideas were unconfirmed.

In May, CNN chief Jeff Zucker shared additional details about the plans for CNN+. Zucker is working alongside CNN Chief Digital Officer Andrew Morse, product chief Alex MacCallum and programmer for the planned streaming service Rebecca Kutler. Though Zucker’s contract is up later this year, it’s unclear right now if he plans to stay, or leave the company at that time.