CNN buys iPad news reader Zite

Aug 30, 2011
Customers try the Ipad 2 at the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York, in March 2011. US cable television network CNN announced Tuesday that it has bought Zite, a Canadian company that makes a personalized news reader for the iPad.

US cable television network CNN announced Tuesday that it has bought Zite, a Canadian company that makes a personalized news reader for the iPad.

CNN did not say how much it paid for the San Francisco- and Vancouver-based Zite, which was launched in March, but technology blog All Things Digital put the purchase price at $20 million to $25 million.

CNN said Zite will be a wholly owned subsidiary of the Atlanta-based and will operate as a separate, stand-alone business.

"Zite represents the next generation of content discovery and personalized publishing, and CNN wants to help lead in that space," CNN digital manager KC Estenson said.

"We think we can advance the industry in a meaningful way that helps content creators expand their businesses while growing the distribution of a product that people already love," Estenson said in a press release.

Like other news aggregators such as Flipboard, Pulse, Taptu and AOL's Editions, Zite uses algorithms to take a reader's interests and behavior into account in serving up their pages.

Zite's technology can "help CNN's websites and apps serve more personalized content, making our current digital services even better," CNN said.

Zite chief executive Mark Johnson said the acquisition by CNN "gives us the capital to grow Zite's business and continue to innovate in the space."

said Johnson will continue to run Zite's day-to-day operations while Zite founder Ali Davar will remain as executive director.

Shortly after its launch, Zite was accused of by The , Dow Jones, . and other news organizations and told to stop displaying their articles.

Instead of directing a reader to the websites of the news organizations, where they display online advertising, Zite had been showing some articles reformatted in a pop-up window without ads.

After receiving the "cease-and-desist" letter, Zite began linking directly to the websites of the complaining publications.

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