There are many still discussing what went wrong with CNN+ leading to Warner Bros. Discovery’s decision to pull the plug on the streaming service less than a month since it launched.
CNN’s media reporter Brian Stelter spoke about what went wrong for their platform on “Reliable Sources,” stating that many are still trying to process the decision to ax CNN+ since it puts some staffers at a crossroads regarding their careers.
“Years of development possibly down the drain. Some of the shows may never be seen. Hundreds of staffers may be laid off, though the company is trying to place many of them in new jobs,” Stelter said.
“Amid these bruising headlines, folks are trying to make sense of it. Some partisans are leading a predictable talking point that it’s about politics. But the truth is, this was a corporate move.”
Whether it was a political or corporate move, Stelter stated that the streaming platform was doomed from the start due to the time of its launch since WarnerMedia was in the process of merging with Discovery.
“This CNN+ service was doomed because of the timing of a merger and clashing streaming strategies. The new owner, Warner Brothers Discovery has big plans to combine multiple streaming platforms to make one big challenger for Netflix,” Stelter added.
Westwood One Tabs Collin Jones to Replace Suzanne Grimes As President
“With his deep understanding of both Cumulus Media and Westwood One, Collin is uniquely qualified for this role and is well-prepared to harness the full power of our platform to help Westwood One grow.”
Westwood One has announced Suzanne Grimes has exited her role as President and will be replaced by Collin Jones. Grimes had led the organization for the past eight years.
“I would like to thank Suzanne for her invaluable contributions and her pivotal role in our success. Under her leadership, we launched the top-rated Cumulus Podcast Network, built the multi-platform Westwood One News/Talk franchise, and established the industry-leading Audio Active Group,” Cumulus Media President and CEO Mary Berner said. “Throughout her time with Cumulus, she has been a remarkable leader, colleague, and mentor to many, and we are certain she will accomplish great things wherever she chooses to share her talents next.”
Jones has worked at the company since 2011, and will continue to serve in his current role as Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Development alongside his new duties as Westwood One President.
“I am excited for the opportunity to expand upon Suzanne’s successes,” Jones said. “Since acquiring Westwood One in 2013, I have been struck by the breadth of its capabilities, the strength of its content and service offerings, and its enormous influence on the broadening audio landscape. I look forward to working day-to-day with Westwood One’s creative, passionate, and talented team to fuel growth and unlock even more value for Cumulus Media and our shareholders.”
In addition to his roles with the company, Jones is the National Association of Broadcasters Radio Board Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Radio Music License Committee.
“With his deep understanding of both Cumulus Media and Westwood One, Collin is uniquely qualified for this role and is well-prepared to harness the full power of our platform to help Westwood One grow,” Berner added. “Collin has consistently demonstrated his savvy business acumen, effective management style, and collaborative spirit, and I have full confidence that he has the skills and the vision to build upon Suzanne’s considerable accomplishments.”
Spotify Announces Massive Companywide Cuts
“The decision to reduce our team size is a hard but crucial step towards forging a stronger, more efficient Spotify for the future.”
Spotify has announced it is reducing its workforce by a whopping 17% in a round of cost-cutting measures.
“I recognize this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions. To be blunt, many smart, talented and hard-working people will be departing us,” CEO Daniel Ek wrote in a letter published to the company’s website.
Ek admitted the company considered making smaller job cuts in 2024 and 2025, but decided it was more feasible to make wide-ranging job eliminations now.
“Considering the gap between our financial goal state and our current operational costs, I decided that a substantial action to rightsize our costs was the best option to accomplish our objectives,” he wrote. “While I am convinced this is the right action for our company, I also understand it will be incredibly painful for our team.”
The cuts from Spotify come after a 6% reduction in force earlier this year eliminated the jobs of 600 within the digital audio company.
Ek argued the decision to eliminate so many jobs was a strategic one for the company, with an eye toward different goals.
“The decision to reduce our team size is a hard but crucial step towards forging a stronger, more efficient Spotify for the future. But it also highlights that we need to change how we work. In Spotify’s early days, our success was hard won. We had limited resources and had to make the most of every asset,” he concluded. “Our ingenuity and creativity were what set us apart. As we’ve grown, we’ve moved too far away from this core principle of resourcefulness.
The Spotify of tomorrow must be defined by being relentlessly resourceful in the ways we operate, innovate, and tackle problems. This kind of resourcefulness transcends the basic definition – it’s about preparing for our next phase, where being lean is not just an option but a necessity.”
CBS Audio Network Extends Partnership with Skyview Networks
“Extending our partnership with Skyview Networks further strengthens and enhances our distribution and sales of our expanding audio portfolio.”
CBS Audio Network — including CBS News Radio — has inked an extension with Skyview Networks for national distribution of all its audio content.
“Extending our partnership with Skyview Networks further strengthens and enhances our distribution and sales of our expanding audio portfolio,” said Paramount Global Executive Vice President of Audio and Podcasting Steve Raizes. “Together, we’re focused on delivering our best-in-class news, information, and entertainment content to new listeners around the country.”
The partnership originally began in 2018 and was extended in 2020.
“The CBS standard for excellence shines in our partnership,” said Skyview Networks President of Network Partnerships and CRO Jeanne-Marie Condo. “CBS is deeply committed to radio, working to provide outstanding programming that engages listeners. The continued growth of CBS affiliates is impressive and helps deliver significant results for the ad community. CBS is a profound partner with their forward thinking and dedication to radio nationwide. It is a privilege and honor to continue our partnership.”
“I’m excited that CBS and Skyview are actively exploring additional news and entertainment content for audio consumers. By working closely together, we will increase revenue, enhance listener engagement, and expand our dominant position within the audio space,” added Skyview Networks CEO and President Steve Jones.