Marc Maron almost had a CNN+ show: ‘Thank god I don’t have one’

“CNN offered me a lot of money on their defunct streaming service to do it there,” Maron said of taking his Instagram Lives to a talk show platform.

Marc Maron reveals he dodged a bullet with failed streamer CNN+

The “WTF” podcast host revealed he was approached by the short-lived streaming platform to host his own show for “a lot of money,” but he turned it down due to the timing of the offer.

Maron’s partner, filmmaker Lynn Shelton, died suddenly in 2020 from undiagnosed acute myeloid leukemia. Maron noted that as part of the grieving process, he “started doing Instagram Lives daily.”

“I was just mumbling around and doing stuff in my house and ranting and gushing about this and that, experiencing grief and people watching and a lot of people benefiting a lot from it,” said Maron Vulture. “It’s gotten me a lot of quirky fans.”

The social media appearances caught the attention of the budding Warner Bros. Discovery flagship streamer.

“But it kept me engaged with an audience on a daily basis, to the point where CNN offered me a bunch of money on their defunct streaming service to do it there,” Maron said, “and I was like, ‘ I’ won’t do it.’ Thank god I didn’t! But I knew I had to use my performative voice, so I did it.”

CNN+ launched on March 29, 2022 and subsequently shut down on April 30 of the same year. Just 150,000 subscribers joined, according to a statement issued by CNN Worldwide CEO and chairman Chris Licht at the time.

“We have therefore made the decision to cease operations of CNN+ and to focus our investments on CNN’s core news gathering activities and the continued build-out of CNN Digital,” said Licht. “This is not a quality decision; We appreciate all the work, ambition and creativity that went into building CNN+, an organization with great talent and compelling programming. But our customers and CNN are best served with simpler streaming choices.”

CNN+ included a Don Lemon talk show, a Jake Tapper book club, an Anderson Cooper show on parenting, and CNN documentaries from RBG to Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.

Licht said in January 2023 that CNN as a whole needed to “restore trust” in the brand.

“You can talk to a lot of different people about why that went down, but as opposed to looking back, I want to say that one of our jobs is to restore our reputation as the most trusted name in the news,” Licht told the Los Angeles Times. “We certainly have research showing that [trust] has eroded.”

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Lindsay Lowe

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