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NowThisNews' Top Editor Ed O'Keefe Heads to CNN

He's one of several veteran news executives who helped launch the news startup, then left.

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Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Ed O’Keefe, who had been overseeing editorial at news startup NowThisNews, has a new gig. The former ABC executive is back in mainstream media, as the vice president of CNN’s CNNMoney and Politics sites.

O’Keefe was one of several high-profile news executives recruited in 2012 to help run NowThisNews, the startup created by former Huffington Post executives Ken Lerer and Eric Hippeau.

He left the company in March, as did managing editor Katharine Zaleski, whose LinkedIn profile says she is co-founding PowertoFly, a “global platform that connects top female tech talent with distributed and hybrid job opportunities.” General manager Eason Jordan left last fall.

NowThisNews was first conceived of as a modern-day news network, designed to be distributed via social networks and on mobile phones. But in the last year it has tweaked its approach, and now is spending lots of time repackaging other news reports for new formats like Instagram and Vine. It is also building up a content-marketing business by helping advertisers create “real-time” video ads.

At CNN, O’Keefe will oversee CNNMoney, the site it currently co-owns with Time Inc. CNN will gain control of the site when the magazine publisher spins out from corporate parent Time Inc.; a memo announcing his hire says CNN will “make a significant investment in social, mobile, video and new ad formats” in conjunction with the acquisition, and that “O’Keefe will work in cooperation with DC Bureau Chief Sam Feist to apply the same tactics to the CNN’s political coverage online.”

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