CNN acquires iPad-oriented startup Zite

Posted by Mark Raby

In its latest push to stay on top of the changing news and social media climate, CNN has firmed up details to buy a company focused on iPad magazine technology.

Unlike every other digital newspaper or magazine on the Apple platform, Zite's goal is to delivery a wholly different experience for each user depending on their personal preferences.

That is to say, if you show an affinity for politics, your version of a Zite magazine might be heavily packed with political stories, but someone else might get a sports-driven version. However, both readers would be using the exact same app.

CNN is not expected to bring any radical changes to the small company and will probably let it keep doing what it does best. The only difference is that CNN will get all the revenue, and in the future can bring its expertise to the table as well.

Virtually every major player still left in the print journalism business has found a deal with the iPad and other digital reading devices. The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, etc, have all embraced the new technology. Fellow company Tinc Inc has a unique move in that it does not offer any sort of digital access without a corresponding print subscription.

CNN, though, could be in a completely separate room from all of those players, though. Users want customization and expect things to be tailored to their tastes, and with the acquisition of Zite, CNN is definitely staying on top of the competition.

The cable news network has faltered in TV ratings over the last couple years but has made great strides in its online presence. This is another step in that direction.