Peter Kafka

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Former Maker Studios CEO Danny Zappin Buys a News Site That Covers Topics Like Danny Zappin

danny_zappinWhat do you do after you start a really big Web video company?

If you’re Danny Zappin, you buy a website that writes about Web video.

Zappin, the former CEO of YouTube network Maker Studios, has bought a controlling interest in NewMediaRockstars, a two-year-old site dedicated to news about YouTube and the rest of the Web video world.

Which is interesting! If not on an Omidyar-Greenwald level.

A couple things worth noting:

If you wanted to, you might take a “no conflict, no interest” perspective on Zappin’s purchase of a website that writes about Zappin. Zappin himself insists it won’t be odd. “It will cover whatever it would normally cover. I’m not going to use it for a personal agenda or anything like that,” he said.

First things first: NMR shut down about two months ago, after running out of money. So Zappin will need to reboot the site.

Alan Van, who had been editing the site, will come back to restart it, and Benny Luo, NMR’s original CEO, will come back to run the property day to day, Zappin said.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald