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CNN+ is back from the dead as CNN Max debuts Sept. 27

The now-defunct CNN+ lived only for a month before execs killed it in 2022.
The now-defunct CNN+ lived only for a month before execs killed it in 2022. CNN+ / Digital Trends

Forget CNN+. It’s now CNN Max. Sort of.

Max, the streaming service formerly known as HBO Max, today announced that all subscribers in the U.S. will get “CNN Max” starting on September 27. It’s not to be confused with CNN+, however, the short-lived streaming service from CNN that looked to capitalize on the CNN brand with a wealth of new content before it was unceremoniously canceled after about a month of life amidst the Warner Bros. Discovery merger. (Both CNN and HBO Max were owned by Warner Bros. at the time and now fall under the new umbrella company.

If that little trip down memory lane isn’t confusing enough, CNN Max is being billed as part of an “open beta for news that will enable experimentation with product features, content offerings, and original storytelling, all with the input and feedback from the Max community.”

And that, by the way, sounds a whole heck of a lot like how CNN+ was positioned before execs killed it. CNN+ had product features. And content offerings. And original storytelling. And it had (or was going to have) what effectively amounted to input and feedback from curated comment sections. This new iteration perhaps feels a little more tilted toward the live news side of the equation, but there’s still a lot of overlap. Here’s out the press release puts it:

“Featuring the most notable worldwide CNN anchors, the new service will include new programming built specifically for the Max streaming audience like CNN Newsroom with Jim Acosta, Rahel Solomon, Amara Walker and Fredricka Whitfield, and CNN Newsroom with Jim Sciutto. Jim Sciutto will also lead breaking news coverage on the platform in the afternoons. CNN Max will additionally feature Amanpour, Anderson Cooper 360, The Lead with Jake Tapper, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, and other anchors, correspondents, and contributors.”

The press release also said, “This new 24/7 streaming service will bring the immediacy and value of global breaking news with top analysis, context, and reporting across all the biggest stories in the world to the Max streaming audience and enhance the product with the convenience of viewing news at anytime, anywhere, and on any screen.”

Unlike CNN+, though, CNN Max won’t be a completely separate streaming service with its own apps and platform.

“As we laid out at our launch only a few months ago, our vision for Max is to be The One to Watch for all members of a household,” JB Perrette, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO and President of Global Streaming and Games, said in the press release. “CNN Max is differentiated by having 24/7 news at its core from CNN, the leading global news organization, and being available on a scaled streaming service in the U.S., which has a significantly younger and additive audience compared to traditional TV. This provides even more quality choices for Max customers who will be able to easily catch up on what is happening in the world, particularly in moments of breaking news, all within one seamless experience.”

Presumably this open beta will last longer than a month this time. Tune in on September 27 to check it out.

Phil Nickinson
Phil spent the 2000s making newspapers with the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the 2010s with Android Central and then the…
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