From a founder of The Huffington Post, an online video-news platform with cable in its crosshairs
After months of developing in stealth mode, Lerer Ventures' forthcoming digital video-news startup has announced its name and executive team.
Previously code-named Planet Daily, the official title is NowThis News. The general manager is former CNN executive Eason Jordan. The editor-in-chief, as first reported by Capital, is Ed O'Keefe, formerly of ABC News. And Washington Post alumna Katharine Zaleski (likewise previously reported) is managing editor.
Additionally, NowThis News announced a "strategic partnership" with BuzzFeed, which has also raised capital from Lerer Ventures, a startup fund run by Huffington Post co-founder Ken Lerer and former HuffPost C.E.O. Eric Hippeau.
They offered the following in a statement: “We’re creating NowThis News to meet straight on the inevitable and rapid changes happening in news consumption: digital, mobile, social and video – that’s what NowThis News is about."
The full press release is below:
NowThis News, a digital video news network, today announced its executive team and a strategic partnership with BuzzFeed, the popular, fast-growing social news site. NowThis News, code-named Planet Daily during development, will offer video news for mobile and social news consumers.
NowThis News also announced that Eason Jordan, former CNN Chief News Executive, is General Manager; Ed O’Keefe, former ABC News Digital Executive Producer, is Editor-in-Chief; and Katharine Zaleski, former Washington Post Executive Director of Digital News, is Managing Editor.
Kenneth Lerer, Partner of Lerer Ventures, co-founder of NowThis News along with Lerer Ventures Partner Eric Hippeau, said: “We’re creating NowThis News to meet straight on the inevitable and rapid changes happening in news consumption: digital, mobile, social and video – that’s what NowThis News is about. We’re thrilled to have Eason as General Manager, Ed as Editor-in-Chief, and Katharine as Managing Editor, along with the rest of the executive team, as we launch the company.”
NowThis News’s leadership team also includes veterans from a wide range of leading news outlets, including: Head of Production Steven Belser, former Head of Production of VICE Media; Chief Technology Officer Theo Burry, former Technical Director of The Huffington Post; and Social Editor Drake Martinet, former Social/Multimedia Editor of AllThingsD. The NowThis News team also includes veterans of NBC News, The New York Times, Newsweek/Daily Beast, Fox News, PBS, NPR, Al Jazeera, Slate, MTV, and HBO.
Said Eason Jordan: “As more and more people turn to mobile and social outlets for their news, now is the perfect time to launch a video news network built for the digital generation. I’m excited to be working with such a talented, experienced, and impressive team.”
Said Ed O’Keefe: “Our goal is to create a socially relevant, buzzy, and creative approach to news. And BuzzFeed, with its remarkable success and reach, is a dream partner.”
NowThis News will be a video partner of BuzzFeed, with a dedicated vertical within the social news site’s platform. NowThis News will produce content that complements BuzzFeed editorial while producing its own original video news stories.
NowThis News is backed by Lerer Ventures, Bedrocket Media Ventures, and Oak Ventures.