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CNN accidentally sent welcome baskets to employees who were laid off after the CNN+ streaming service failed

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Signage at the CNN Center, Thursday, April 21, 2022, in Atlanta.Mike Stewart/AP

  • CNN accidentally sent welcome baskets to employees who were laid off after CNN+ shut down.

  • CNN+, a paid subscription service, launched in late March and shut down weeks later.

  • The shuttered streaming service has left hundreds of employees out of work, The Wall Street Journal reported.

CNN accidentally sent welcome baskets to employees who were laid off after the CNN+ streaming service shut down.

The paid streaming subscription service launched on March 29 and announced it will be shutting down on April 21, Insider previously reported.

A week later, hundreds of laid off employees received welcome gifts, some of which came with encouraging notes, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“It’s an amazing time to be a part of CNN,” said a note, per WSJ. “Build relationships and take the time to connect with colleagues and learn in order to make the most of your time here.”

CNN told the WSJ that the baskets — which included branded gear, pens, headphones and a popcorn machine — were sent by mistake.

CNN spent up to $250 million on the launch and saw low audience engagement, never exceeding 10,000 viewers at any one time, per CNBC.

Company insiders blamed former CNN Chairman Jeff Zucker and WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar for the failure.

“It was just ego. All a power play for bigger work or independence. Hubris. Nothing more,” a former WarnerMedia executive said of Zucker, Insider previously reported. “The only people who ever thought it was a good idea were either working at CNN or trying to get CNN+ to hire them. Nobody else.”

Many CNN+ employees started in the last six months or even weeks before the March launch, per WSJ. Employees who do not find internal positions at CNN will receive a six-month severance package if they do not leave the company within 90 days.

A former CNN+ designer, who spoke to Insider on condition of anonymity, said they had only worked for CNN+ for a few months when they found out the service was shutting down.

“I remember texting my roommates and telling them I was going to get fired,” the employee told Insider. “Everyone was completely shocked.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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