CBS Corporation Completes Acquisition Of CNET Networks; Merges Operations Into New, Expanded CBS Interactive Business Unit
New CBS Interactive Represents Premier Online Content Network for Information and Entertainment
· CBS Interactive Becomes the 8th Largest Web Network Worldwide;
· Top Five Premium Content Ad-Supported Network;
· The Number One Technology Network Led by CNET.com;
· The Number Two Entertainment and Sports Network for Men 18-34
Quincy Smith Named Chief Executive Officer and Neil Ashe Named President of CBS Interactive
CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) announced today that it has completed its acquisition of CNET Networks, Inc. and merged its operations into a newly expanded CBS Interactive division. The new division incorporates all of the premium online brands of both CBS and CNET Networks into one business unit.
The announcement was made by Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation, following the Company’s acquisition of CNET Networks, Inc.
“This marks day one for the new CBS Interactive,” said Moonves. “From entertainment, news and sports to technology, games and business, the combination of CBS and CNET Networks gives us the content and scale to be leaders on a platform that is gaining audience share faster than any other. Our unparalleled collection of sites will be an extremely powerful vehicle for advertisers to reach highly attractive demographics. At the same time, CBS Interactive will extend and leverage the power of our traditional businesses, as well as serve as a platform to launch the next generation of leading interactive properties that will play a central role in CBS’s future. I couldn’t be happier to welcome all the people of CNET to the new CBS Interactive group. I know we’ll all do great things together.”
The combined assets of CBS Interactive now make CBS the eighth largest web property worldwide in terms of monthly unique users, according to comScore (May 2008). In addition, CBS Interactive becomes a top five premium content advertiser-supported online network, the number one online technology network led by CNET.com and the number two entertainment and sports online network among Men 18-34.
The newly expanded business unit will comprise five vertical categories designed to appeal to like-minded audiences and offer advertisers scale across targeted demographics:
· Technology: CNET.com is the number one Web site in the computer and consumer electronics category, reaching more than 18 million people every month with daily premium content offerings. From the latest product reviews to breaking news from the digital world, as well as video and program downloads, CNET.com has become the leading destination for people looking to navigate today’s digital world.
· Entertainment: Representing the third largest online entertainment group on the web, the collective reach of CBS Interactive’s entertainment portfolio will now exceed 24 million users each month, and include many of the leading brands on the web today, including: TV.com, CBS.com, The CBS Audience Network, theInsider.com, GameSpot.com, Last.fm, and CHOW.com, among others. These are among the most visited entertainment destinations on the web today, each with their own identity and audience profile, and they continue to grow in users and time spent visiting. This past year, for instance, CBS.com market share grew a category-leading 41 percent. Combined with the power of America’s most watched network – CBS Television – CBS Interactive offers unparalleled consumer reach online and offline.
· Sports: CBS Interactive is a leader in athletic coverage, from sites devoted to professional sports to the largest collection of collegiate brands. Among its top destinations are CBSSports.com, CBSCollegeSports.com, NCAA.com, and MaxPreps.com, representing one of the digital world’s largest sports footprints. Working with its leading broadcast and radio properties, CBS offers the unique opportunity to reach a wide group of people who are passionate about sports across the internet, television and radio.
· News: Two of the strongest news sites in their own right, CBSNews.com, a leader in world news, and CNET News.com, the leader in technology news, combine to create the sixth largest property in the Current Events/Global News category. From breaking news and international reports to coverage of business, politics and technology, the combination of these two destinations gives users a global perspective they cannot find anywhere else.
· Business: Eighteen million users each month have come to rely on CBS Interactive’s business properties, which include BNET.com, the cornerstone of the business category, and leading sites like ZDNet and TechRepublic. Collectively, these assets are among the fastest growing destinations in the expanding business category and offer users the latest and most insightful business coverage, with unique perspectives on management and technology.
Moonves also announced today that Quincy Smith is named Chief Executive Officer and Neil Ashe is President of CBS Interactive. Smith has been at the helm of CBS Interactive since joining the Company in November 2006, and Ashe has led CNET Networks since October 2006.
“Quincy’s unique understanding of the interactive space has pushed CBS to the forefront of new media,” said Moonves. “There are so many more promising market opportunities before us and I greatly look forward to his continued leadership as we evolve our company at this exciting time.”
“Neil brings a broad range of experience to this important new role,” said Moonves. “His strong background as both a strategic executive and a results-oriented operator will add significant energy to this increasingly vital part of the CBS Corporation.”
“Today CBS Interactive becomes a world-class player in online content with leading brands across information and entertainment,” said Smith. “We now have the new media reach that clients want, and the content that audiences expect from CBS. Simultaneously, CBS Interactive also gets even more complementary and additive to the Company’s core established businesses. I couldn’t be happier to work with my friend Neil who will be instrumental in driving this business with me.”
“We now have an amazing opportunity to realize the full potential of CNET Networks’ premium brands by gaining access to the kind of mass market reach that only CBS can provide,” said Ashe. “Our expertise and our market-leading brands will propel CBS into leadership positions on the internet. I’m very excited about being a part of this fantastic leadership team, which is one of the most talented and experienced in the interactive business. I look forward to working closely with Leslie and Quincy and the whole team to drive more audience to our industry-leading businesses and creating new revenue opportunities for CBS.”
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