Some headscratching happening at the Online Publishers Association meeting here in London over CBS’ purchase of CNET for $1.8 billion.
I wonder: What is CBS now? What does the brand mean? They just gutted the online news operation and word has it they don’t like new (which I have to believe is a prelude to the same happening to CBS News on the air; a company that likes news would like news anywhere). They had a big news brand that has only deflated. And now they buy News.com, a large (but not growing) niche (but large niche) site.
So CBS joins the ranks of Time Warner and Microsoft, to name two, that try to buy the internet strategies they don’t have. Oh, what the hell, add Yahoo to that list, starting with its purchase of Broadcast.com, which I bring up just to note that Mark Cuban, made a billionaire by that purchase (which soon died) is not on Carl Icahn’s slate of rebel directors for Yahoo. Even Yahoo doesn’t have an internet strategy.
If I started a company, I’d take good money, of course, but I sure would hope not to be bought by a company that is using it to buy the strategy it doesn’t have. I can’t think of a case in which that has worked, can you?