CNN, which drew widespread (and justified) criticism over the summer for hiring former Trump campaign manager Casey Lewandowski, finally got one right.
According to FishbowlNY and multiple other sources, CNN has acquired the social video messaging app Beme, with plans to invest in the company and launch a new media brand.
Why is this important? Because Beme was founded by none other than YouTube celebrity and tech entrepreneur Casey Neistat, who is joining the CNN video team. It’s a huge coup for CNN to snag Neistat, who likely had his choice of offers after ending his incredibly popular Vlog series earlier this month.
CNN will debut a new media brand next summer focused on storytelling for a younger audience, with Neistat leading the way. If Neistat is involved, it’s going to be good.
Beme’s 11-person development team will be coming along with Neistat, but the app will be shut down. Instead, CNN will create a standalone digital media company that will become part of the CNN Digital portfolio.
Smart move. In fact, so smart that Time Warner stock is up 18 percent this morning to $93.07 per share. (Time Warner owns CNN.)
The deal is valued at about $25 million, and the new company will be run by Neistat and Beme co-founder Matt Hackett. Kudos to both of them. This is a logical next step for Beme, and for Neistat, who can bring his work to an even larger audience (if that’s possible).
According to CNN, “The new network will focus on timely and topical video and empowering content creators to use technology to find their voice.”
All of a sudden, CNN just became relevant to millions of millennials. Smart move, CNN.