May 15, 2008 |
I'm starting to think I may just want to skip right over the rest of 2008 and start fresh in 2009 when companies come to their senses. First HP decides to acquire support service dinosaur EDS, then Comcast snaps up Plaxo (all the better to throttle your bandwidth AND that of your social graph, my pretties!), and now CBS buys CNET.
I'm sure CNET is ecstatic about the news; several of their properties have been financially struggling now for what seems like eons now, and they've been in a nasty public fight with Jana Partners over control of the CNET board.
What does CBS get out of the deal? Built-in tech coverage they can integrate with their own news reporting organization is an obvious benefit, as well as the coveted news.com domain name. They also get a company who has sprawled its identity over so many different domains that I'm not sure they recognize themselves anymore, much less have the brand recognition they had back in the 90s.
Thanks to Allen Stern's liveblogging of the CBS/CNET conference call over at CenterNetworks, I can see that CBS sidestepped CNET's financial issues and made a lot of noise about "increasing ad revenue" which, as we all know, is on the decline for online properties.
This is also the same week in which we see the Washington Post throwing in their lot with TechCrunch for technology news reporting. And while there are several questioning that decision, compared to buying yourself a bunch of tech news and financial problems for close to $2 billion, the WaPo is suddenly looking smarter all the time.