NowThis News, the recently launched video news site created by ex-HuffPo founders Eric Hippeau and Ken Lerer, opted for an old-fashioned approach to deliver election results on a new-fangled platform. As the tweets poured by at an impossible-to-follow rate, NowThis News stuck out with a very web 1.0 approach: ASCII art.
The NowThis site (formerly called Planet Daily) currently pulls in newsy video clips from sites like Twitter, Facebook and–most typically–Buzzfeed, another Lerer Ventures portfolio company. The company’s Twitter handle, @NowThisNews, is run by its social editor, Drake Martinet, who’s also an adjunct professor at Stanford. Mr. Martinet said that 90 percent of the video content on the site is produced by the NowThis team.
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.
Hires and Fires
Planet Daily, the video startup from Ken Lerer, is putting some of that $5 million in venture money to work with a big hire. Poytner reports that the would-be “CNN killer” has poached the Washington Post‘s executive director of digital news, Katharine Zaleski, to serve as managing editor.
From the email that went around the Post:
After two and a half years inspiring and leading digital change here at The Post, Katharine Zaleski is returning to New York to take on a new role as managing editor of a startup media venture under the working name, “Planet Daily”. The idea is to build a 24-hour video channel for the mobile and social web. For Katharine, it’s a chance to get her old band back together: her key partners in the new project were her associates at The Huffington Post, Ken Lerer and Eric Hippeau.
Are Mr. Lerer and Mr. Hippeau indeed getting the old band back together? We reached out to Lerer Ventures, but they had no comment.
Planet Daily, the new video startup announced a few weeks ago by ex-HuffPo execs Ken Lerer and Eric Hippeau, has raised $5 million from undisclosed investors, according to a Form D filed today with the SEC.
Do the guys over at Soho Tech Labs ever sleep? It would appear that the answer is no. Not only are they busy incubating social home exchange service CasaHop, which soft launches this week, but they’re also working on a video news startup aimed at the “Jon Stewart set.” Today, RebelMouse CEO and ex-HuffPo CTO Paul Berry told Business Insider that the previously-unnamed video startup has been giving a working title: Planet Daily.