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CNN Buys Private Tech Firm Canopy To Build News Aggregation Platform

Jill Goldsmith

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CNN said Tuesday that it has acquired the assets and hired the development team of Canopy, a Brooklyn- and Boston-based private firm that will help speed the development of NewsCo, an upcoming news and information platform.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

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CNN said NewsCo is meant to connect users to sources, storytellers and creators across a wide range of topics and is the initial project of CNN’s recently formed team of strategists and tech experts focusing on new products and platforms to drive news consumption.

“This acquisition enables us to light up in a single transaction a proven, best-in-class team whose deep knowledge and skill sets would’ve taken many months or even years to assemble,” said CNN EVP and chief digital officer Andrew Morse. “Canopy’s culture of fast-cycle, iterative software and product development will enable us to more rapidly realize our ambitions and deliver against our goals.”

Canopy, which CNN described as a “personalization architecture company,” is led by founder-CEO Brian Whitman and is made up of a team of 15 experts with backgrounds at Spotify, Instagram, Google, Twitter, Flipboard and more who have built much of the personalization layers of the Internet that are still in use today. Launched in 2018, Canopy combines human curation, on-device machine learning and differential privacy “to ensure the best discovery experiences while protecting personal data on users’ devices,” CNN said.

“There has never been a more crucial time to help people discover trusted sources around topics and issues that matter most to them,” said Whitman. “We’re incredibly excited to join the team at CNN to build some amazing products for their millions of global users.”

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