Warner Bros. Discovery boss David Zaslav — who famously killed CNN+ shortly after last year’s merger with Warner Media — plans to launch a new version of the ratings-challenged new channel on streaming service Max.
Dubbed “CNN Max,” the channel will feature distinct live programming, including streaming-only news programs such as “CNN Newsroom with Jim Acosta, Rahel Solomon, Amara Walker and Fredricka Whitfield,” Warner Bros. Discovery said Thursday.
CNN Max, which will launch on Sept. 27, will function like a channel within the Max streaming platform.
It will also include several programs from the cable network, like Christiane Amanpour’s show “Amanpour,” “The Lead With Jake Tapper,” “The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer” and “Anderson Cooper 360.”
Those shows will stream at the same time as they appear on CNN’s cable news network.
The company said CNN Max will be different than the highly touted and short-lived CNN+ — which launched in March 2022 and was snuffed out three weeks later — because it will lean into the immediacy of breaking news and analysis, and focus less on lifestyle programming.
Original shows like “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” and “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” will still remain on the service, however.
The move to re-establish a larger presence in streaming for CNN comes as Warner Bros. Discovery is looking to increase the amount of time Max subscribers spend on the platform. It also comes as CNN struggles to lift its historically low ratings and reach a younger audience.
The network’s ratings have tanked as it attempts to pivot away from the left-leaning coverage that juiced viewership during the Trump presidency. According to Nielsen, in July CNN’s total daily viewers amounted to 470,000 on average.
In the advertiser-coveted demographic of viewers between 25 and 54, CNN’s daily viewership cratered to 86,000 — marking its lowest tally in 23 years.
By contrast, Fox News’ total daily viewers averaged 1.2 million and 135,000 in the demo, while at MSNBC, total viewers amounted to 812,000 with demo viewers equaling 84,000.
In primetime, CNN averaged just 534,000 viewers for the month with demo viewers amounting to 104,000, marking CNN’s lowest tally since March 2023.
Sinking ratings translates to lower advertising revenue. The network’s profit fell beneath $1 billion in 2022 and is expected to be modestly higher this year than last, at $938.6 million, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Those figures are for the CNN networks that operate in the United States, including CNN en Español and CNN International.