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CNN to start a new media brand with YouTube star Casey Neistat

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YouTube sensation Casey Neistat last week announced he was quitting his daily video blog and now we know why: his app, Beme, has just been acquired by CNN along with its 11-person team.

CNN announced Monday that it will shut down Beme and allow Neistat to create a new project to attract his online followers to the media company. According to The New York Times, Neistat will have full creative control to build a separate company that lets the audience share “timely and topical videos” and start conversations around current events.

The new project — slated for a summer 2017 launch — will operate as a standalone extension of CNN much like Great Big Story, the media giant’s answer to BuzzFeed. In a press release, CNN says Great Big Story will continue to focus on “untold stories” while Neistat’s project will attempt to build engagement around news topics. Neistat’s YouTube content will also remain separate from CNN.

Beme, which lets you capture short videos by covering your phone’s proximity sensor, had 1.2 million downloads after launching in July 2015. Users will receive a notification today to download their videos before the app completely shuts down.

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