Zite, the magazine-style reading app for the Apple iPad, has been sold to news giant CNN for $20 million to $25 million.
The reason for CNN’s acquisition interest — as well as look-sees from several other publishers — is not a surprise: As readers turn more toward using these mobile devices to consume content, big media companies are trying to acquire the technology to serve up their fare to them.
See Also: From a Zite Blog Post by CEO, Mark Johnson
Why CNN? First of all, CNN has a history of innovation in the marketplace. CNN was the first organization to launch a 24-hour all-news network – embracing people’s love of news on their terms. Secondly, a modern news organization like CNN isn’t just about reporting. CNN.com is one of the largest web sites in the world and the CNN mobile applications boast well over 12 million downloads. CNN knows that they are competing not only in high-quality reporting, but in delivering you the best news possible. Finally, our interactions with CNN leadership, including KC Estenson, have made it clear that they are visionaries who are voraciously pursuing next-generation technologies to give CNN.com an edge over its competition.
Zite wants to assure our users that what you love most about Zite will continue to get better. I will continue to operate as the CEO of Zite and will report directly to KC. We will not promote CNN, Turner or Time Warner content in any special way: our agnostic personalization algorithms will be the sole determiner of what you see on Zite. Most importantly, Zite will now have the capital to grow. That means better recommendations, new innovations in our iPad interface and Zite on additional platforms.