Ken Lerer’s answer to the Daily Show–a video startup formerly known as Planet Daily–is stealth mode no more. Today the company announced its proper name–NowThis News–plus the identity of its executive team. The site will launch with a partnership with BuzzFeed in place, positioning the company’s content to go viral like chickenpox in Mrs. Henderson’s kindergarden class. The mission is about what we’d expected: to offer “video news for mobile and social news consumers.” Finally, a real broadcast for those among us who turn YouTube in times of crisis!
However, as lifelong Lois Lane fans, we must register our disappointment that the site is losing its super-heroic code name.
As previously reported, Katherine Zaleski (formerly of the Washington Post) will be charged with keeping things running smoothly as managing editor. The expanding executive team will include former ABC News Digital executive producer Ed O’Keefe, who will be editor-in-chief, and former CNN Chief News Exec Eason Jordan, who will be general manager. Other leaders hail from Vice Media, the Huffington Post, and AllThingsD.
Ken Lerer commented in a statement released today:
“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.”
Mr. Jordan, NowThis News’s general manager, chimed in:
“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.”
The announcement didn’t provide too many details on that BuzzFeed partnership, but apparently NowThis News will be getting a dedicated vertical within the viral content machine. According to the release, the company “will produce content that complements BuzzFeed editorial while producing its own original video news stories.”
So, can we expect that November’s election returns will be delivered by cute kittens?