Social news video company NowThis is bringing on former CNN and Vice correspondent — and Navy SEAL — Kaj Larsen to helm its development and production of both short-form and longer-form news and documentary series, TheWrap has exclusively learned.
Larsen will join NowThis as a senior correspondent and producer and will host the news and docu-series he will help develop. His first series will explore the intersection between sports and politics, with episodes covering topics that include activist athletes finding their voices and how Harvard students are using — and being tracked by — biometric devices.
Larsen, who spent five years on active duty as a Navy SEAL, was the only journalist embedded with forces fighting Boko Haram in Nigeria in 2015. He most recently served as a correspondent and producer for Vice and its “Vice” TV series on HBO. Larsen has received Emmy and Peabody nominations and has won two Telly awards and several Golden Cine awards.
NowThis, which draws 2.5 billion monthly views to its captioned videos designed for the social web, recently merged Thrillist, The Dodo and Seeker to form Group Nine Media following a $100 million investment from Discovery Communications.
“Now more than ever, it’s essential to connect young people with the important stories and issues facing our country,” NowThis Chief Content Officer Tina Exarhos said in a statement. “Like NowThis, Kaj is deeply committed to telling honest, emotive, essential stories that impact us right now. Bringing on Kaj represents our mission to support bold, passionate storytellers and our continued investment in deeper, investigative reporting and longer form content. Kaj is a force in news journalism and we are beyond thrilled that he’s now part of our NowThis family. ”
“It’s an honor to join the NowThis News team,” Larsen continued. “When I got off of active duty, I embarked on a new mission in public service to tell stories about the most important ideas impacting our world. Using the power and reach of the NowThis platform, I can explore the global and the local issues that are critical to our audience. It’s a new platform, but entrenched with old school, boots on the ground, journalistic values that are rooted in powerful storytelling and authenticity. I couldn’t be more excited to be the point man on this mission.”