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Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images

Group Nine Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) sponsored by media company Group Nine, is adding CNN president Jeff Zucker and Technicolor SA vice chair Melinda (Mindy) Mount to its board of directors, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Media watchers are obsessed with Zucker’s moves as he considers his next chapter after CNN. Zucker runs one of the world’s largest news organizations, and is credited with leading CNN’s digital transformation.

  • The idea behind the Group Nine SPAC is to consolidate digital properties to create scale.

Be smart: Group Nine's SPAC is uniquely structured to allow it raise money to acquire another company while potentially taking itself public in the process, all while facing much less financial scrutiny as it would with an IPO.

  • It's also unusual in having a company as a sponsor instead of an investment firm or group of individuals.
  • This positions Group Nine as a buyer of other media companies. The company could eventually combine with a company it buys and go public.
  • Few other SPACS have similarly complex tie-ups amid parties.

Details: Zucker and Mount join the two other independent members of GNAC’s board of directors, including co-founder and partner of Imagination Capital and a director of Lazard Ltd and Lazard Group Richard (Dick) Parsons, who is also the former Citigroup and Time Warner Chairman, and Reddit COO Jen Wong.

  • Group Nine Media CEO Ben Lerer leads GNAC as CEO and chairman. Group Nine Media president Brian Sugar is president and director.

Go deeper: SPACs could fuel next round of digital media wars

Go deeper

21 mins ago - World

Biden's ambassador nominee: "China is not an Olympian power"

Nick Burns testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee to serve as ambassador to China delivered a stark assessment of the challenges the U.S. faces in confronting Beijing, but stressed that the rising superpower is "not all-powerful" and the West retains "substantial" advantages.

The big picture: Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, used his confirmation hearing Wednesday to echo the growing bipartisan consensus that China poses "the greatest threat to the security of our country and the democratic world" in the 21st century.

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to form team to solve consulate dispute

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (right) meet in Washington. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel are planning to form a joint team to hold discreet negotiations on the reopening of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: The consulate handled relations with the Palestinians for 25 years before being shut down by then President Donald Trump in 2019. Senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government see the consulate issue as a political hot potato that could destabilize their unwieldy coalition.

Nikolas Cruz pleads guilty to Parkland school shooting

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz at the defense table during jury selection at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Oct. 6, 2021. Photo: Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Nikolas Cruz on Wednesday pleaded guilty on all counts for carrying out the 2018 shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead, including 14 students and three staff members.

Driving the news: Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty at a hearing on Wednesday to 17 murder counts and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder for carrying out the deadly shooting.