Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
CNN said it would continue to run Zite as an independent, stand-alone business; 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. In April, rival iPad app Flipboard raised a $50 million venture round, and earlier this month, AOL launched its own personalized magazine for the iPad dubbed AOL Editions.