HuffPo Veterans' Video Startup Poaches ABC Digital Exec to Run Programming

Planet Daily Will Avoid 'Talking Heads in the Newsroom'

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The video-news startup being built by Huffington Post veterans Ken Lerer and Eric Hippeau has hired ABC News Digital executive producer Ed O'Keefe to run its programming.

Mr. O'Keefe will take the title of editor-in-chief when he joins the startup next month. The move was first reported by Capital New York. Mr. Hippeau confirmed it to Ad Age .

Ed O'Keefe
Ed O'Keefe

The new company, which has the working name of Planet Daily, will target news enthusiasts on mobile devices, Mr. Lerer said in an interview with Ad Age last month.

"What we're not going to be doing is showing talking heads in the newsroom, which is what everyone else is doing," he said. "What we hope to succeed at is building a product that will deliver news that will primarily be consumed on your phone and on your tablet and be social."

A bit vague? Yes. But Mr. Lerer said he's confident now is the time to bet on new platforms for video.

"There are certain trends that are for sure: mobile, video, and social," he said in the interview last month. "Five years ago, we would have been insane to do this, and five years from now people will say 'Why the hell didn't I do that ?' Just like it was the right time to do HuffPo, I think it's the right time to do something like this."

Besides Messrs. Lerer and Hippeau, the startup's board also includes venture capitalist Fred Harman (a former HuffPo board member), Bedrocket CEO Brian Bedol and former CBS executive Nancy Tellem. The startup recently has raised $5 million.

In addition to Mr. O'Keefe, Planet Daily has made four hires, including Katharine Zaleski, formerly executive director of digital news at the Washington Post.

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