Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide has just announced that the company has acquired Zite to add to its list of digital products, further extending its influence in the tablet news arena.
Zite is a free personalized magazine experience that researches your social networking or RSS Feed interests and compiles a list of related news articles from the worldwide web into one, convenient location. The web posts are laid out to look like news articles from one source, but they are actually from various sources from around the Internet. Once the app has configured your personalized list, you can further customize it by requesting more articles from a certain website, about a specific topic, and even a single word that has been referenced in the title (like “lemon”).
Although the company is now a wholly owned subsidiary of CNN, it will act as a stand-alone business and will continue to be run by CEO Mark Johnson. Founder Ali Davar will stay on board as Executive Director. Mike Klass will continue to act as CTO.
KC Estenson, general manager of CNN Digital was quoted in a press release as saying, “Zite represents the next generation of content discovery and personalized publishing and CNN wants to help lead in that space.” Zite’s CEO was quoted as saying, “Being part of the CNN family gives us the capital to grow Zite’s business and continue to innovate in the space.”
There is already questions as to whether this acquisition will affect Zite’s ad-free independent compiling of various news sources, or if CNN will just slowly transform the news app into another CNN reader.