Media Moves

Synergies available in CNET acquisition

May 16, 2008

Saul Hansell of the New York Times writes about the synergies that CBS will be able to bring to its acquisition of tech news provider CNET Networks.

CNETHansell writes, “For one, CBS is also a company with well-known brands and sluggish growth. So CNet adds some luster to CBS, even if it would drag down other theoretical buyers like Yahoo.

“Interestingly, on a conference call with investors Thursday morning, CBS said that its own Internet properties — like Sportsline and the Web site for the Grammy Awards — are actually growing faster than CNet is.

“CBS, of course, gave the normal synergy talk: The network’s relations with auto, financial services and drug companies will bring new advertisers to CNet, and CNet’s tech advertisers will add customers to CBS properties. CBS can obviously cut some of CNet’s overhead costs. (If the deal goes through, it also cures a big headache for CNet’s management: the agitation for reform from Jana Partners, a hedge fund.)

“CNet has been diversifying away from technology into some other areas that may be of use for CBS. It is building its BNet service for small businesses. Intriguingly for CBS, CNet also owns TV.com, which it has been trying to use to create an entertainment and television fan portal. Owning CNet’s News.com domain name might even lead to a revival strategy for the once great CBS News.”

Read more here.

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