×

Flipboard Acquires CNN’s Zite News App, and Will Shut It Down, as Part of Larger Deal

CNN will sell the Zite news app to tablet magazine app startup Flipboard — which will shut down the Zite service — as part of a broader deal that includes a partnership between the two companies for content distribution and joint ad sales.

Execs said financial terms of the deal were not being disclosed. CNN originally reported that the Flipboard deal was “valued at $60 million” but a PR rep for the news cabler said that was not accurate. The CNN story later was updated with a correction appended that said “the value of the deal could reach as high as $60 million over time,” according to an unnamed source.

While not disclosing specifics, the value of the deal includes the Zite sale and “also involves the long-term advertising partnership between Flipboard and CNN Digital,” said CNN public relations manager Erica Puntel.

CNN acquired Zite, an iPad news app designed to give users a personalized, magazine-like experience, in 2011. The Turner-owned network paid “just over $20 million” for Zite, AllThingsD reported at the time. The Zite app — which did not gain much traction under CNN’s wing — is similar to Flipboard’s, which aggregates articles from news sites and social networks.

SEE ALSO: CNN Trends: $20 Million That Could Be Put to Better Use

Popular on Variety

San Francisco-based Zite has fewer than 20 employees, most of whom will be joining Flipboard, according to Flipboard CEO Mike McCue.

Under the pact, CNN talent including Fareed Zakaria, Jake Tapper and John King will launch digital magazines for Flipboard, which claims to have 100 million users worldwide. In addition, Flipboard is adding about 30 topic-oriented feeds from CNN to its app.

CNN and Flipboard also will team up to sell mobile ads, targeting large brand advertisers, for display advertising “of the kind you see in (print) magazines,” McCue said.

KC Estenson, senior VP and GM of CNN Digital, said the network will “create new revenue opportunities” and expand its mobile audience through the Flipboard partnership. “With this deal, CNN is invested in the long-term success of Flipboard,” he said.

Flipboard, based in Palo Alto, Calif., was founded in 2010. The company has raised $161 million from venture-capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer, Index Ventures and Insight Venture Partners as well as other investors including The Chernin Group, Ashton Kutcher, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz.

Mark Johnson, who was CEO of Zite, will not be joining Flipboard, Estenson said. In a post on LinkedIn, Johnson said he will take some time off before deciding what to do next. “I’ve grown as a CEO and I’m very proud of my team. However, after being at four different successful startups, I’ve never started one myself and it’s time to change that,” he wrote.

More Digital

  • Jake Paul

    YouTuber Jake Paul Launches Entrepreneur How-To Platform, Financial Freedom Movement

    YouTuber Jake Paul wants you to be financially free, for $19.99 a month.  At a rally on Saturday, the content creator — along with influencer friends and around 50 teenage and tween-age fans, some chaperoned by parents — launched the Financial Freedom Movement (FFM) in partnership with GenZ Holdings Inc., a Los Angeles-based brand development [...]

  • HQ Trivia

    HQ Trivia Live Game App Shuts Down

    After a two and a half years, HQ Trivia — the live game-show app that gave away cash prizes to winners — is shutting down. HQ Trivia’s move to shut its doors was first reported by CNN. The company is laying off its 25 full-time staffers, according to the report. In a tweet Friday, CEO [...]

  • Golden Mics - The Podcast Academy

    The Oscars of Podcasting? First 'Golden Mics' Awards to Debut in 2021

    The burgeoning podcast biz is looking for its own version of the Oscars, Emmys and Grammys. On Friday, a group of podcast publishers and producers including Spotify, NPR, PRX, Sony Music Entertainment and Wondery announced the formation of the Podcast Academy, a membership-based organization dedicated to promoting the medium. As part of its charter, the [...]

  • Mike Bloomberg

    Mike Bloomberg's Odd Meme Blitz Spurs Instagram to Require Influencers to Disclose Paid Political Content

    A new paid meme campaign on Instagram by billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who’s running a guerrilla bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has prompted Facebook to clarify that influencers on the platform must disclose such arrangements. This week, Bloomberg’s presidential campaign launched a broad campaign across at least 19 top Instagram accounts with a collective [...]

  • Disney+ on Roku

    Roku Takes Credit for Being 'Important' Part of Disney Plus's Booming Q4 Signups

    Roku, in announcing strong 2019 holiday-quarter results, gave a bit of a flex in claiming it was a key part of Disney Plus reeling in 26.5 million customers in Q4. CEO Anthony Wood, on the company’s earnings call Thursday, gave props to Disney for blowing past Wall Street expectations with the new streaming service in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content