May 18, 2008

CNET can now focus on content, right?

News of the Columbia Broadcasting Station (CBS) buying out CNET did come as a bit of a surprise to me. However, the more I reflect on it the more I think it will probably be remember as one of the smarter business moves of the era. Here's why:

Why it's good for CBS:
Once the pillar of quality information, CBS is now known more for their hour-long Crime dramas and high way billboard advertising. It's news gathering abilities have been resting on its laurels since Dan Rather left in YEAR amid controversy over false sources. But, his departure was just the culmination of several years in decline, which I attribute mostly to two main things: 1) an increased distance between its audience and the Internet generation and 2) its failure to reach out to these Internet media consumers. The acquisition of CNET should provide a healthy dose of life in CBS' news division. (lets hope.)

Why it's good for CNET:
CNET never quite got a handle on the separation between their advertising department and the Editorial content. In the past, the online media company reportedly sold favorable placement of articles on their various sites, according to Valleywag. This of course caused an ethical dilemma on several occasions, most recently involving Gamespot reviewer Jeff Gerstman's termination. But, I can't fault the editorial staff on these matters -- the management on the other hand you can blame. Lets hope CBS has a better interpretation of the basic separation between editorial and their money making division.

Opportunity Calling...
Now that CBS is whispering about what to do with its evening news program after Katie Coric departs, the media relic has a real opportunity here to revise their top names in news to identify with a whole new generation of Americans -- most notably, Loaded host Natali Del Conte, who has an impressive background in both new and traditional media.



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