CNN’s $25 million bet on a YouTube star has failed

casey neistat Casey Neistat with Chrissy Teigan. Getty/Bennett Raglin

  • YouTube star Casey Neistat is leaving CNN, a little over a year after the company bought his app Beme for around $25 million.
  • Neistat was supposed to develop a new millennial-focused outlet for CNN through the Beme app.
  • CNN says it will try to find new jobs for Beme employees within the company, but that some will be laid off.

CNN is losing YouTube star Casey Neistat and shutting down his app Beme that the company acquired for a reported $25 million in 2016, BuzzFeed News first reported.

Neistat was brought to CNN to turn Beme into a new outlet for digital storytelling. CNN had hoped to leverage Neistat’s popularity on YouTube to reach a new generation of viewers. But Neistat told BuzzFeed Thursday he didn’t think CNN was a good fit.

Neistat appeared on the cover of The Hollywood reporter last year. In the cover story, CNN president Jeff Zucker said he was interested in Neistat after learning about him from his teenage son.

BuzzFeed reports CNN plans to find new jobs within the company for the 22 employees who worked with Neistat on Beme, but that some will be laid off.