CNN’s purchase of Casey Neistat’s video company Beme didn’t work out very well. It was a gamble to begin with and it seems CNN has come to the realization that it’s best to just shut down the company it bought 14 months ago for $25 million, BuzzFeed News reports.
CNN originally bought Beme in order to take advantage of Neistat’s 6 million viewers (at the time), hoping that it would be able to spin Beme into an independent operating company that will run daily online news shows and be a core part of CNN’s offerings that would be more appealing to the younger demographic. Unfortunately for CNN, Neistat was unable to come up with a viable strategy because of sluggish process and creative differences. Beme will now be shutting down and Neistat will be departing from CNN.
“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 yield something,” Neistat told Buzzfeed News. “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.” Originally when CNN bought Beme, the company would focus on “timely and topical video and empowering content creators to use technology to find their voice.”
The next question is what’s going to happen to the Beme staff? Well, currently Beme employs 22 people, and CNN has said that it would re-employ most of the team, but some will end up losing their jobs. CNN has plans to continue developing tech products that were developed by Beme, including an unreleased live-news app called Wire.