CNN Acquires iPad App Zite

CNN said Wednesday it had acquired Zite, the company behind the personalized iPad magazine and news app of the same name that competes with Flipboard. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Zite app pulls together content tailored to a user’s interests from a variety of sources including news articles, blogs, social media and videos and presents it in a magazine-like format.

CNN said it would continue run Zite as an independent, standalone business and that CEO Mark Johnson would continue to run the company’s day-to-day operations in San Francisco. He will report to KC Estenson, general manager of CNN Digital. Founder Ali Davar will stay on board as Executive Director.

“Zite represents the next generation of content discovery and personalized publishing and CNN wants to help lead in that space,” said Estenson. “We think we can advance the industry in a meaningful way that helps content creators grow their businesses while growing the distribution of a product that people already love.”

He added that Zite’s technology could be used to help CNN’s Web sites and apps provide more personalized content to users.

The CNN acquisition underscores how quickly the news reader niche on the iPad has heated up. Rival iPad app Flipboard in April raised a $50 million venture round, and earlier this month AOL launched its own personalized magazine for the iPad dubbed AOL Editions.

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