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HuffPo Cofounder Ken Lerer Launches Stealthy Online Video News Startup for the Jon Stewart Set

ken lerer HuffPo Cofounder Ken Lerer Launches Stealthy Online Video News Startup for the Jon Stewart Set

Mr. Lerer (via lererventures.com)

Huffington Post cofounder Ken Lerer is apparently at work on a stealthy startup aimed to “attract a generation of Web natives who watch Jon Stewart but not CNN or Fox News,” reports Peter Kafka at AllThingsD. Internet locals who love Jon Stewart and loathe cable news . . . wait, is he talking about Betabeat??

The startup is so stealth it doesn’t even have a name yet, although it’s already hiring. The service will function as a joint venture between Lerer Ventures, Mr. Lerer’s seed stage VC firm, and Bedrocket Media Ventures, the video studio and incubator he cofounded shortly after selling HuffPo to AOL for a cool $315 million.

According to Mr.Kafka, Mr. Lerer is “telling potential investors and employees” that he will have an active role in the new project, along with Eric Hippeau, the former HuffPo CEO who joined Lerer Ventures as a venture partner last February, and Bedrocket’s Brian Bedol. Although we hear Mr. Lerer is “definitely not” pitching investors.

“The service, which will launch this summer in advance of the U.S. presidential elections, will use a mix of livestreaming video and taped reports, and a mix of professionally produced segments along with contributions from amateurs.

While Bedrocket has landed four YouTube “channel” deals for its programming, the new venture won’t be confined to any particular platform. Lerer and company have been promoting the idea that the service will rely heavily on social media like Facebook and Twitter for distribution.”

Going out where the people are (on social media), rather than asking them to add another site to their mix and visit your platform? That does sound native! Now if only these “relatively unknown reporters, not established/expensive TV folks” the startup plans on hiring for on-camera work could be as funny as Mr. Stewart.

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com

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