One exec behind CNN+ flop is returning to the network less than two years later

Alex MacCallum has been named CNN Worldwide’s executive vice president of digital products and services, a new role focused on overseeing and spearheading CNN’s suite of digital products that serve and engage millions of people globally every day.

This will be MacCallum’s second tour at the network, having previously worked on digital products including the mega-flop CNN+.

MacCallum is an experienced product, business and media executive who joins from the Washington Post where she served as chief revenue officer overseeing subscriptions, partnerships and advertising.

At the Post, MacCallum began the transformation of the Post’s business, from changing the way its advertising team was structured to evolving how cross-functional work happens across the company.

She returns to CNN after previously serving as global head of product for CNN Worldwide and general manager of CNN+ where she managed product, data, design, growth marketing and business operations.

At CNN the first time, MacCallum led cross-functional teams to the launch of CNN+, a direct-to-consumer streaming service as well as re-structured the core product teams to better serve its users.

MacCallum was one of the key leaders behind the high-profile failure that the network’s CNN+ streamer ended up being — with the service costing the company millions and staid in operating for less than a month.

She left CNN in June 2022 and is now poised to return less than two years later.


Since her departure, CNN launched CNN Max, a channel on parent Warner Bros. Discovery’s streaming platform as a way to distribute its content directly to consumers, both live and via VOD.

There were numerous reports that WBD wanted CNN to wait to launch CNN+ until after its deal to acquire then-CNN parent WarnerMedia closed, but legal issues prevented them from communicating that message. CNN went head with launching CNN+ before the deal was done only to have WBD take over and shut it down after less than a month.

The closure reportedly cost job losses as well as millions of dollars the network (even causing its profit to dip below $1 billion) had invested in talent, editorial teams and other investments to launch the streamer, including staff focused only on the streamer.

Before joining CNN the first time, she spent eight years at The New York Times in various roles, including head of product for standalone products, a NYT portfolio that included Cooking, Games, Wirecutter, Audio and Kids, and as the founding masthead editor for audience in the newsroom. She was the founding product leader on NYT Cooking, leading the creation and growth of the product in partnership with editorial. She also spent time in the newsroom overseeing NYT Video, re-focusing the team on user-oriented formats and experiences.

MacCallum has deep experience in building products that bring world class journalism and storytelling to life. At the Times, she championed a cross-functional product development process that allowed for rapid iteration, new product creation and innovation in product and in particular, direct to consumer businesses.

She began her career in media at the Washington Post and was the first news editor for the Huffington Post. She graduated from Brown University and holds a law degree from U.C. Berkeley.

MaCallum’s first day back at CNN will be March 4, 2024. She will be based out of CNN’s New York bureau.