Media

CNN Is Ending Media Venture With Casey Neistat, Super Star Video Blogger [VIDEO]

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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CNN is reportedly ending its media venture with YouTube star Casey Neistat and his proprietary video-sharing app, after spending $25 million on it.

Matt Hackett, co-founder of the app called Beme, said it wasn’t due to the fact that an “aging conglomerate … couldn’t innovate,” but rather that they “didn’t hit the escape velocity the business needed to exist independently.”

In other words, it seems the vision for the costly initiative wasn’t entirely clear and Neistat wasn’t sure what his day-to-day and long-term objectives were.

“I couldn’t find answers. I would sort of disappear, and I would hide, and I would make YouTube videos for my channel because at least I would be able [to] yield something,” Neistat told BuzzFeed News in an interview. “I don’t think I’m giving CNN what I want to give them, and I don’t think they’re getting value from me.”

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Neistat, a celebrity blogger, gained fame through his organically made videos. Twentieth Century Fox took notice and offered Neistat $25,000 to make a promotional video for the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” with the primary theme “live your dreams.”

Neistat used that money to help people affected by the strongest typhoon to hit landfall in the Philippines. None of the video made any mention of the movie, or had any direct relation to it, but it still went viral and likely satisfied what the movie producers’ marketing team ultimately wanted: publicity.

CNN still plans on absorbing much of the team behind Beme so they can work in other respects for the company.

Others will inevitably be let go, according to Neistat and Hackett, who also said they themselves would both be leaving the company.

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