“Challenging times call for difficult decisions, and it is with a heavy heart that we are announcing today that will be closing the doors of Great Big Story,” read an announcement posted to its Twitter account. The shutdown was due to the economic environment due to COVID-19, according to a source, that proved to be too much for the business model.
— Great Big Story PR (@greatbigpress) September 23, 2020
The venture created short films and documentaries, and was seen as a way to tap into millennial audiences who favored outlets like BuzzFeed and Vice. The shutdown of Great Big Story was expected to impact up to 30 positions, according to the source.
Great Big Story won three Emmys and other awards.
At the time that it launched in 2015, Great Big Story stressed its independence from CNN — referring to the network as “like a sugar daddy we see on the weekends.” It was founded by CNN’s Andrew Morse and Chris Berend. Its videos were a departure from the breaking news coverage of its parent, with a mix of lifestyle and travel, and a bit of irreverence. Among the titles: “The Poison Supper Club That Made Our Food Safe” and “The Search for the First Street Fighter King.”