CNN gets more personal, buys iPad magazine Zite

By the Associated Press | August 30, 2011 | 3:15 PM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — CNN has acquired Zite, a personalized digital magazine for the iPad tablet computer.

Zite learns about its readers' tastes and tries to appeal to them with a package selected from hundreds of different websites.

CNN, a cable news channel owned by Time Warner Inc., has no plans to change Zite's format, said KC Estenson, general manager of CNN's digital division. "This is a product that people love. It just needs to be in the hands of more people," Estenson

Zite's technology may be used to help CNN customize its news on the iPad and other mobile devices.

Financial terms of the deal announced Tuesday weren't disclosed.

Zite, which is based in San Francisco, started a specialty search engine called Worio six years ago. Drawing upon some of Worio's research, Zite unveiled its magazine for the iPad five months ago. It has been overshadowed so far by Flipboard, another digital magazine designed for the iPad that analyzes the links shared within readers' networks on Facebook and Twitter to customize editions. Yahoo Inc. also is trying to personalize the news for computer tablets with a service called Livestand that the company says will be ready before the end of the year.

Some media outlets, including The Associated Press, initially objected to Zite distributing their content without prior permission. Those disagreements have since been settled, Zite CEO Mark Johnson said Tuesday.