The debacle at CNN+ is baffling to some but in actuality it is revealing. For the last couple of years CNN was one of the top rated cable news stations. Many would assume that this would translate into a successful app. Well apparently it didn’t. Only 150,000 have signed up. They fired the network CFO and halted all marketing spending.

They should have fired more than the CFO. Where was the communications plan? Where was the content strategy? Did they do cross marketing through their various networks like: TBS, TNT, Headline News, CNN radio? BEFORE LAUNCH. Yes they touted signing Chris Wallace for 9 million dollars but what else aside that did they do? By the way Chris Wallace has no social media presence, so there was no promotion there.

Did they do market research to see if their target audience would even be interested in an app prior to even considering creating an app? How much original programming did CNN have prior to even justify an app? I recall before Fox News created their app, they had tons of original content and specials. How many did CNN have?

Why didn’t they wait till after the merger with Discovery? The Discovery family of channels are extremely successful. When it comes to ratings Monday through Sunday from 6am to 6pm for the week of April 11 to April 17: Food Network ranked 8, Investigate Discovery ranked 9, Lifetime Channel ranked 13, TLC is ranked 18 and Discovery Channel ranked 19. The Discovery App is successful as well; if they would have waited till the merger they could have integrated CNN+, to the Discovery App and people might would have seen a ton of value in the abundance content that was being offered.

It seem like there was no planning involved in this launch. Whomever was behind it, just felt the television ratings are high and it will translate to the app, we don’t have to do anything. The poor planning effected producers and other staff who left jobs and even relocated; now to be told they are closing down after three weeks and by the way you can apply for other positions. Shouldn’t other positions be given to them as a make good? I think this is a great example of the importance of strategies. If you don’t have a strategy in place, things like embarrassment, missed opportunity of developing a great idea, the loss of money and even employees will happen.