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Zite newsreader sold to Flipboard

My all time favorite newsreader, Zite, has been sold by CNN to Flipboard for a deal reported by Reuters to be worth about US$60 million dollars. Flipboard has also struck a content deal with CNN.

CNN bought Zite in 2011. In a conference call this morning, Flipboard CEO Mike McCue said Zite's technology drew Flipboard to the deal. Indeed to my mind what made Zite so attractive was the fact that it learns what I am interested in, while Flipboard does not.

Zite is a terrific app, but was never really as popular as Flipboard. Zite will stay up and running until the Zite technology appears in a new version of Flipboard. Zite started as an iPad-only personalized news magazine, then moved to the iPhone.

I just talked to Zite CEO Mark Johnson, who told me Flipboard is really impressed with Zite, and Johnson said he expects much of the user interface and technology that makes Zite so good to be quickly incorporated into Flipboard. The entire Zite team, minus Johnson, is heading to Flipboard, which I view as positive. Said Johnson, "Leaving is bittersweet, because Zite is the best product I've ever worked on and I can't imagine how I'd get my news without it. However, I'm confident that Zite + Flipboard will create a more magical product than Zite is today." Johnson adds that he's going to take a welcome three months off and go from there.

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