Fork Media and Ziff Davis to launch Mashable in the Middle East 

Media and ad tech company, Fork Media has partnered with Ziff Davis to launch Mashable in the Middle East. Falling under the umbrella of Ziff Davis, the multi-platform media brand offers entertainment worldwide including content on technology and digital culture. The partnership aims to create engaging and offbeat English and Arabic content for the MENA region and provide publishers, brands and advertisers a platform to reach a premium audience.

“We entered the Middle East market three years ago as our first international foray and it has grown since then to get huge adoption for our ad-tech platforms and also launch media properties like Curly Tales and Mashable, after successful launches of the same in India,” says Samar Verma, CEO, Fork Media. “Our strong partnership with Ziff Davis continues to grow beyond India with the integrated approach of content, sales and marketing providing the right localisation strategy for these globally popular brands.”

Blathnaid Healy joins CNN

Blathnaid Healy has joined CNN Digital Worldwide as Senior Editor in its London newsroom. Blathnaid joins CNN from Mashable, where she established the company’s first London office and built an editorial team that developed a multimedia editorial agenda and voice across all platforms. At CNN, she will oversee the network’s EMEA-based digital news team and its output. Blathnaid will be responsible for the commissioning and production of news content, focusing particularly on mobile and video. She will also work closely with CNN’s Atlanta, New York, Dubai and Hong Kong operations to build on and enhance the network’s ‘follow-the-sun’ editorial strategy, integrating closely with CNN’s broader newsgathering teams across all platforms.
“Blathnaid has vast experience in building and leading digital teams with a spirit of creativity and entrepreneurial innovation,” says Inga Thorder, Editor and Programming Director, CNN Digital Worldwide. “She was instrumental in building Mashable’s global workflow and experimenting with different storytelling and has exactly the kind of qualities we prize here at CNN. She is a big part of the global investment we’re making in our digital operation.”
Blathnaid adds “This is an exciting time to be joining CNN. You can see its commitment to digital everywhere you look and the energy behind that is evident across the editorial team. I’m looking forward to playing a part in the next chapter here.”

Google tests ad-free subscriptions

Google has launched a new service, which allows users the option to pay to prevent advertisements appearing on sites. Known as the Google Contributor, it enables users to subscribe as little as one (US) dollar per month to avoid ads popping up whilst browsing online.

Users can choose to subscribe between $1 and $3 each month to remove all Google-served ads on participating websites, though any third-party advertising on select sites will remain. The ads are then replaced with a small message, which thanks the user for being a contributor, and the space is filled instead with a pixelated pattern. On mobile devices, there is an option to have them removed entirely.

The Google Contributor service is beginning with 10 publishing partners, including Imgur, WikiHow, Mashable and Science Daily.