Clay Travis on CNN+ Shutting Down: The Biggest Media Failure of All Time
Travis called the move an epic failure.
Hundreds of millions of dollars and less than 30 days later, Warner Bros. Discovery announced that it was cutting the cord on streaming service CNN+. As originally reported in Variety, the operation will officially cease on April 30.
News/talk pundits wasted no time pouncing on the flop, which was trending on Twitter for several hours Thursday.
Nationally syndicated radio hosts Clay Travis and Buck Sexton broke the news to their audience shortly after signing on; Travis called the move an epic failure.
“I think that’s basically the length of Kim Kardashian’s marriage to Chris Humphries back in the day, if I’m not mistaken,” said Travis. “This is maybe the biggest media failure of all time when you consider that they have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the launch of CNN+.”
“What do you think the over-under is on when Chris Wallace shows up on The Masked Singer or perhaps Dancing with the Stars?” Sexton added.
Caroline Nahill, who works at CNN, tweeted about the news, saying CNN+ was her first job out of college.
“Dozens of entry-level budding journalists, most of whom graduated in the pandemic, are in the same boat,” referring to a lost opportunity amid the news of the shutdown. “Keep them in mind alongside the big names.”
More seasoned journalists who don’t work for the network weighed in. NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly tweeted that she was thinking of those behind the scenes that will most likely be left without a job.
“Sending strong thoughts to the journalists & friends who poured their talents & energy into creating something brave and new at CNN+. Here’s to the next chapter.
CNN made massive financial commitments to several people including Chris Wallace who was hired to headline a show on the network. There is no word on his future.
Ryan Hedrick serves as the Assistant Program Director and Co-Host of the Morning News Express at WFMD. Prior to WFMD, he hosted an afternoon program at News Talk 103.7 FM in Chambersburg, PA. He has worked at Sirius XM in Washington D.C., WBEN in Buffalo, NY, and for stations in Baltimore, MD. He has also worked at WIBW-AM in Topeka KS, earning the Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB) award for Major Market enterprise reporting in 2016. To connect with Ryan, find him on Twitter @SureToCover.
Bob Pittman: iHeartMedia Won’t Be Shutting Down Broadcast Stations
“90% of Americans listen to iHeart broadcast radio stations every month. To put that in context, the biggest TV network reaches less than 40% of Americans and the big streaming music services reach less than 30%.”
Very few large broadcasting corporations adopted digital platforms as quickly as iHeartMedia did. iHeartRadio is one of the most popular platforms for streaming content from a variety off stations. Bob Pittman says that does not mean the company does not see plenty of value in traditional broadcast radio.
Lydia Moynihan of The New York Post spoke with the iHeartMedia CEO Friday morning. She asked Pittman if he could foresee a day when the company would be done with terrestrial radio and focus solely on digital products.
“To the contrary – the strength and foundation of our company is our broadcast radio stations,” Pittman responded. “90% of Americans listen to iHeart broadcast radio stations every month. To put that in context, the biggest TV network reaches less than 40% of Americans and the big streaming music services reach less than 30%.”
He added that any success that the company has seen with podcasting or streaming is clearly linked to the success of the its radio stations. He said that is true for its live events too.
“We use that massive and unique reach of our broadcast radio to build complementary products like the iHeartRadio digital service and our major events like the iHeartRadio Music Festival, the iHeartRadio Music Awards and the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour, and it’s why we’re the #1 podcast publisher by a lot. It all starts with using the trusted voices on our broadcast radio stations and creating demand – and with our unparalleled reach we have quite an advantage over the other audio players, regardless of their cash war chests.”
Buffalo, Chicago, Milwaukee Top Markets for AM Radio
“The study shows thirteen markets that have at least 40% of listeners using AM radio. Ten of them are in the Midwest.”
Nielsen has looked at information from the 2022 fall book to determine where AM radio is the most popular. The company released a list Thursday of 141 markets where at least 20% of radio listeners tune to AM radio in a given month. Cities in the Great Lakes region are all at the top of the list.
In Buffalo, 56% of radio listeners use the AM band in a month. The market’s most-listened to stations are both AM stations owned by Audacy – news/talk WBEN and sports talker WGR. Neither has an FM simulcast.
There is a tie for second place. 48% of listeners in Chicago utilize AM. Popular news stations WGN and WLS are both only available on AM as is the market’s heritage sports talk brand, 670 The Score. Milwaukee is the other market with 48% of listeners using AM radio.
AM radio remains very popular in the Midwest. The study shows thirteen markets that have at least 40% of listeners using AM radio. Ten of them are in the Midwest.
Last month, Nielsen used numbers from the 2022 Fall book to show that across the country, more than 82 million people rely on AM radio during a month. That is a third of all terrestrial radio listeners.
A hearing on Sen. Ed Markey’s AM For Every Vehicle Act is scheduled for Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
Fox News Radio Reportedly Facing Cutbacks
“Freelance shifts still exist on the network and current freelancers have been offered other opportunities over the weekend. Staff employees were not impacted.”
According to All Access, Fox News Radio is tightening the belt a bit. Job cuts and staff reassignments are on the way.
Most of the effected positions are filled by freelancers. Reporters and fill-in hosts could be effected.
“Fox News Audio has reduced the number of freelance shifts and adjusted its workflow on weekends,” a source told Perry Michael Simon. “Freelance shifts still exist on the network and current freelancers have been offered other opportunities over the weekend. Staff employees were not impacted.”
One full-time staffer has confirmed that he is out. News anchor Kerin McCue had been with Fox News Radio since 2012. He told All Access that he will exit some time this month. The report does not say if that is the result of these cutbacks or McCue’s own decision.
The network does have a lower-cost plan for the weekend. Some repurposed content from SiriusXM’s Fox News Headlines 24/7 will fill newscast slots.