• CBS To Acquire CNET For $1.8 Billion

    “The core businesses of CNET Networks and CBS Interactive represent near perfect category symmetry in premium online content,”
    Quincy Smith, President, CBS Interactive. And that symmetry is apparently worth about $1.8 billion, which is what CBS just agreed to pay for CNET. The deals values CNET at $11.50/share, and puts a 45% premium on stock from their closing price yesterday. Read More

  • Jana Consortium: CNET leadership has "presided over massive value destruction"

    The battle over the future of CNET continues. This morning the Jana consortium, which announced an attempt to take control of the CNET board of directors in January, published a website and white paper (embedded below) to support their effort. Jana and its co-investors now own 14.9% of CNET, plus another 8% in non-voting derivatives. Their primary goal is to get voting control of the board to… Read More

  • CNET Cuts 10% Of Workforce, Effective Immediately (Updated With Internal Memo)

    CNET has announced that it will cut 10% of its workforce, or 120 people, effective immediately, in a move said to help it “focus on long-term growth amid complaints from some investors.” CNET has had no shortage of headlines recently, from changes at the top through to an ongoing battle for control against largest shareholder Jana Partners. According to an internal memo from CEO… Read More

  • Battle Of The Podcasting Geek Chicks

    A long weekend usually means less news, but for those looking for a new and quite often attractive take on news, the ongoing battle for geek chick supremacy offers a bountiful choice. Webb Alert Michael discribed Morgan Webb’s daily tech show as “a winner” and even stays up till 2am to catch new episodes. Read More

  • CNET Soap Opera Continues; CEO Neil Ashe May Be Fighting For His Job

    Despite CNET’s unexpected legal setback last week in their fight against what is now their largest stockholder (a consortium of investors led by Jana Partners), the board and management team continue to fight on. Previous meetings between Jana and the CNET board were already “tense and uncomfortable.” I can only imagine they’re getting more so. So far, the Jana… Read More

  • Why Is Natali Del Conte Speaking Spanish?

    I’m pretty sure that’s former TechCrunch writer Natali Del Conte speaking Spanish. Yep, that’s definitely Spanish all right. Natali, who recently launched a new show on CNET TV called Loaded, is now creating Spanish versions of the show, covering product reviews in five popular categories including cell phones, MP3 players, televisions, computers, and digital cameras. The… Read More

  • A Funny Moment At The Flickr Party Tonight

    I was at Flickr’s fourth birthday party tonight in San Francisco with a few hundred Flickr fans, tech geeks, press and Yahoo/Flickr employees. At some time around 8 pm Dan Farber, the new Editor in Chief of CNET, says, “huh, I just got an email that says, according to [blogger] Robert Scoble, we bought Revision3 for $58 million.” Uh-oh, I thought. I’m in San Francisco… Read More

  • Judge Throws Out CNET's Objections to Investor Lawsuit

    The showdown between CNET and its largest shareholder, Jana Partners, may be entering a new phase. Following a tense meeting last week with Jana representatives, there is now a good chance CNET’s hard stance against giving Jana any board seats (despite the consortium owning a 21 percent share in the company) is about to vaporize. According to a source close to the situation (updated… Read More

  • CNET Board Has "Tense, Uncomfortable" Meeting With Jana Consortium

    Last Thursday, March 6, multiple sources say, the CNET board of directors and CEO Neil Ashe met with representative from the Jana Partners investor consortium that has amassed a 21% ownership stake in the troubled company. The goal of the meeting was to negotiate a settlement that would avoid a proxy fight and a potential hostile takeover attempt. Jana Partners’ founder Barry Rosenstein… Read More

  • CNET Changes Quarterbacks: Dan Farber Takes Over As Editor In Chief

    Big news at CNET today – editor in chief Jai Singh is out, and Dan Farber, most recently the editor in chief of CNET-owned ZDNet, is taking over. In his new role, Dan will oversee the editorial content and user experience for CNET News. Dan has posted a brief note (and his last on that blog) about his new position on Between The Lines. Dan has been a tech journalist since 1981, so… Read More

  • Consumating To Join The Deadpool

    Tag based dating site for geeks Consumating is to shut March 15, according to a notice posted to the Consumating forums. Consumating was acquired by CNet in December 2005 and was later relaunched in June 2006. The sites traffic remained strong in 2006 then fell away in 2007 according to Alexa (the site was too small to register on comScore). The site currently ranks at 149,238. The code… Read More

  • Google To Acquire Stake In CNet?

    Nearly completely missed amid the noise around Microsoft’s takeover offer of Yahoo was speculation Friday that Google may be looking to acquire at a stake in San Francisco-based CNet. CNet shares were up 7% Friday based on the rumors. Last month, a group of investors began gathering shares of CNet and desired to exert influence on the makeup of the board of directors. Google investing… Read More

  • Natali Gets Loaded Today

    Former TechCrunch Writer Natali Del Conte’s new CNET TV show, Loaded, launched today. And true to CNET’s general policies, the show is not embeddable on other websites (you can see it here). Also standard CNET policy – they sort of borrowed a headline without attribution (Natali says “Google and Microsoft exectuives were not watching the Superbowl on Sunday” –… Read More

  • Is Time Running Out For CNET And Its 2,600 Employees?

    The New York Times is reporting that a group of investors has gathered a 21% stake in CNET and is trying to take over the board of directors and seriously shake things up. This comes after years of poor stock performance, including a 19% decline over the last three years as other Internet companies have soared. The consortium, which consists of Sandell Asset Management, Spark Capital, and… Read More

  • CNET To Shutter Newsburst RSS Reader

    CNET will shut down its online RSS reader, Newsburst, on December 31, 2007. An email went out to users and a notice has been displayed on the site (see below), along with instructions on exporting news feeds via OPML. Few people will be affected – says only 4,000 people visit the site monthly. It competes with Bloglines, Google Reader and scores of other competitors and… Read More

  • NYTimes Surges, CNet Slumps

    Ever since the swept away the last remaining boulders of its subscription pay wall (aka Times Select) in mid-September, its traffic has been going through the roof. According to comScore, it gained 7.5 million readers worldwide from the end of August through the end of October (November numbers are not out yet). That is a 64 percent jump (to a total of 19.4 million). … Read More

  • CNET Provides Branded Widgets, But Who Will Use Them?

    CNET Networks, the parent company for,,, GameSpot and several other web destinations, has released a set of widgets for embedding their videos on non-CNET websites. The widgets are well-designed and currently available for BNET, CHOW,, GameSpot, and Whichever the source, they show some branding, a video clip, a selection of other video clips, and an… Read More

  • CNET Sells Webshots For $45 Million; Other News

    Ok, the CNET news we hinted at is starting to roll in. They’ve sold Webshots, a photo sharing site, for $45 million in cash to American Greetings. The reason, says CNET Neil Ashe, is to allow CNET to “focus on key areas of growth.” Webshots seemed to be growing pretty fast, though. The site attracted 7.2 million visitors in the U.S. in September, up 25 percent from last… Read More

  • CNET's Shiny New $250 Million Credit Line: What Will They Use It For?

    Update: See announcements here. CNET has sold Webshots for $45 million in cash as well as other announcements. They have not announced a stock buyback or any acquisitions, but its clear that they are preparing to make some moves with all this cash. CNET Networks has $250 million burning a hole in its pocket. The Internet media company secured a line of credit for that amount on October 16… Read More

  • CNET Founder Shelby Bonnie Unveils His New Startup: PoliticalBase

    Shelby Bonnie left the company he co-founded with Halsey Minor, CNET, just about one year ago. This morning he launches his next startup, PoliticalBase. The site, which focuses on local, state and national elections and other political matters, is timed perfectly to take advantage of the 2008 presidential elections and the estimated $4.5 billion that will be spent on advertising to promote… Read More