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May 5, 2008

Wikipedia: CNET Networks

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CNET Networks, Inc.
Type Public (NASDAQ: CNET)
Founded 1993
Headquarters 235 Second Street, San Francisco, California, USA
28 E 28th St, New York, New York, USA
Key people Neil Ashe, CEO
Shelby Bonnie, co-founder
Industry Internet information provider
Revenue $387.69 million (2006)
Net income $7.87 million (2006)
Employees 2,080 (2006)
Website cnetnetworks.com

CNET Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNET) is a publicly-held media company based in San Francisco, California, United States and co-founded in 1993 by Halsey Minor and Shelby Bonnie.

Contents

History

In 1994, with the help from Fox co-founder Kevin Windle,[1] CNET produced four pilot television programs about computers, technology, and the Internet. CNET TV was composed of CNET Central, The Web, and The New Edge.[citation needed] CNET Central was created first and aired in syndication in the United States on the USA Network.[1] Later, it began airing on USA’s sister network Sci Fi Channel along with The Web and The New Edge.[citation needed] These were later followed by TV.com in 1996. Current American Idol host Ryan Seacrest first came to national prominence at CNET, as the host of The New Edge and doing various voice-over work for CNET.[citation needed]

In addition, CNET produced another television technology news program called News.com that aired on CNBC beginning in 1999.[1]

CNET acquired the Swiss-based company GDT in 1999. GDT was later renamed to CNET Channel.[1]

In 1999, CNET granted the right to Asiacontent to set up CNET Asia, operation was brought back in December 2000.[citation needed]

In January 2000, the same time CNET became CNET Networks, they acquired comparison shopping site mySimon for US$700 million.[2]

In October 2000, CNET Networks acquired ZDNet for approximately $1.6 billion.[3][4] In January 2001, Ziff Davis Media, Inc. reached an agreement with CNET Networks, Inc. to regain the URLs lost in the 2000 sale of Ziff Davis, Inc. to SoftBank Corp. a publicly traded Japanese media and technology company.[5] In April 2001, CNET acquired TechRepublic Inc., which provides content for IT professionals from Gartner, Inc., for $23 million in cash and stock.[6] On July 14, 2004, CNET announced that it would acquire Webshots, the leading photography website for $70 million ($60 million in cash, $10 million in deferred consideration).[7]

From 2001 to 2003, CNET operated CNET Radio on the Clear Channel-owned KNEW 910 AM in the San Francisco Bay Area, WBPS 890 AM in Boston and on XM Satellite Radio. CNET Radio offered technology-themed programing. After failing to attract a sufficient audience, CNET Radio ceased operating in January 2003 due to financial losses.[8]

On October 11, 2006, Shelby Bonnie resigned as chairman and CEO as a result of stock options backdating scandal that occurred between 1996 and 2003. Neil Ashe was named as the new CEO.[9]

In December 2006, James Kim, an editor at CNET, died in the Oregon wilderness. CNET hosted a memorial show and podcasts dedicated to him.

On March 1, 2007, CNET announced the public launch of BNET, a website targeted towards business managers. BNET was launched in 2005 in beta form.[10]

Websites

CNET.com

CNET.com is CNET’s online portal, providing access to CNET’s reviews, news, downloads, price comparisons and CNET TV as well as web search powered by search.com.

CNET.com is divided into seven major sections, all of which can be accessed from the home or “Today on CNET” page. These sections are:

Reviews

Product and service reviews by CNET. This section can also include extras such as Internet connection speed tests, opinion articles and buying guides.

News.com

News.com is a news website dedicated to technology. Content is created by both CNET and external media agencies. A daily podcast is available which covers main stories.

Downloads

This section is also available through the download.com and provides a comprehensive library of downloadable software that CNET says is free of spyware.

Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks is the learning area of CNET, offering a range of tutorials, guides and tips for technology users.

CNET TV

CNET TV is CNET’s Internet video channel offering a selection of on-demand video content including video reviews, first looks and special features.

CNET Shopper.com

CNET Shopper.com is an online tool that aims to find the lowest prices on items from online retailers. While generally reliable, there have been notable errors in pricing information on occasion including a camera worth over a thousand dollars being advertised for only a few dollars.

Blogs

Also available at blogs.cnet.com, this is a round up of all the blogs from CNET personalities and official blogs for CNET and CNET programs.

In addition to CNET.com, which is aimed at North American audiences, there are also regional CNET sites including cnet.com.au (for Australia), cnet.co.uk (for the United Kingdom) and asia.cnet.com (for Asia). Content on regional sites is a mix of locally produced content from regional offices of CNET and content from the US CNET.com site. In addition, content is sometimes sourced from ZDNet.

Download.com

Download.com is a website which allows its users to download utilities and patches from other software vendors.

CNET TV

CNET TV plays various videos, including CNET video reviews. CNET editors such as Brian Cooley, Molly Wood, and Tom Merritt host shows like Car Tech, The Queue, Buzz Report, Crave, Quick Tips, CNET Top 5, and others, as well as special reports and reviews.

On April 12, 2007, CNET TV aired its first episode of CNET LIVE, hosted by Brian Cooley and Tom Merritt. The first episode featured Justin Kan of justin.tv.[citation needed]

CNET UK

Logo of CNET UK.

Logo of CNET UK.

In 2005, CNET launched CNET.co.uk.[citation needed] This UK arm of CNET Networks covers similar areas to CNET.com, but specifically for UK consumers. As of January 2008, an independent audit certified CNET.co.uk was the largest consumer electronics website in the UK, with 2.5 million unique vistors [11].The site is mainly focused on reviews, news, a gadget blog (‘Crave’, a name which CNET.com eventually adopted for their own blog) and editorial content from a team of editors, covering consumer electronics and car tech. CNET.co.uk is managed and overseen by site editor Jason Jenkins (formerly of T3 Magazine). The CNET.co.uk editorial team consists of Rory Reid, Ian Morris, Nate Lanxon, Andrew Lim and Richard Trenholm. CNET.co.uk also has a weekly podcast called the ‘Crave Podcast’.

CNET Networks UK also comprises a number of other online-only publications, including GameSpot.co.uk, Silicon.com, ZDNet.co.uk and SmartPlanet.com, each of which produce both editorial and audio-video productions, including GameSpot’s video show ‘Start/Select’, and ZDNet’s popular ‘Dialogue Box’ show. Collectively, the publications of CNET Networks UK generate 132 million monthly page views from 9.8 million unique visitors[12].

On November 19, 2007, CNET UK launched the UK version of CNET TV. Although the site’s design is very different in design to CNET.com’s version, it differs by using true 16:9-resolution video, streaming in Adobe Flash at high bit rates. CNET TV UK produces all original content, most notably a weekly music show, Encoded, hosted by Nate Lanxon; and Reel Weekend, a weekly film digest hosted by Ben Howard. The site also features a car tech show, product video reviews, music videos and most of the video content produced by CNET Networks UK’s various consumer and business sites.

Alongside music show Encoded, CNET TV UK hosts live sessions with popular artists — in the past including The Broken Family Band and Lightspeed Champion — under the name CNET TV:Live.

Other websites

Other CNET websites include GameSpot, GameFAQs, Metacritic, MP3.com, TV.com, and Movie Tome, which operate under the “CNET Networks Entertainment” brand name; Chow, Chowhound, UrbanBaby and Consumating, which operate under the “CNET Networks Community” brand; Webware, a blog launched in November 2006 dedicated to web applications.[13]

In July of 2004, CNET Networks acquired Webshots, a online photo sharing site for $70 million[14]. However, in October of 2007, they sold Webshots to American Greetings for $35 million[15]

CNET owns many domain names, including download.com, upload.com, news.com, search.com, tv.com, mp3.com, chat.com, computers.com, help.com, shopper.com, radio.com, and com.com.

Generic Domain Controversy

CNET’s usage of generic domain names, such as download.com, news.com, and com.com, have been a challenging point for the company since its early days. CNET was sued in 1995 for its use of the snap.com website.[16] The company’s policy of speculating on generic domain names was unprecedented in the early 1990s, and may be the forerunner of the current practices of Cybersquatting and Typosquatting.

Podcasts

Screenshot from CNET's podcast page on the iTunes Store.

Screenshot from CNET’s podcast page on the iTunes Store.

The network produces several audio and video podcasts. They are related to the core areas of technology: General news, DAPs, Cars, Security, and the ongoing wars between the politicos and the industry. The network has several different brandings on their podcasts. CNET.com, the Network’s most viewed site, has more than eight to date.[17] The other sites in the CNET Network that have podcasts are GameSpot, TV.com, MP3.com and CNET.co.uk.

Name Brand Hosts Type Frequency
Buzz Out Loud CNET.com Molly Wood, Tom Merritt and Jason Howell (formerly Veronica Belmont) Audio (Video coming soon) Daily (Video will be weekly)
Geek Pop CNET.com Tom Merritt and Molly Wood Video Daily
The 404 CNET.com Randall Bennett, Jeff Bakalar and Wilson Tang Audio Daily
Crave CNET.com’s Crave Blog Brian Tong (formerly Caroline McCarthy, Veronica Belmont and James Kim) Video Weekly
Loaded CNET.com Natali Del Conte Video Monday-Thursday
The Buzz Report CNET.com Molly Wood (interim host Brian Cooley) Video Weekly
Gadgettes CNET.com Molly Wood, Kelly Morrison, and Jason Howell Audio Weekly
MP3 Insider CNET.com Jasmine France and Donald Bell (formerly Veronica Belmont and James Kim) Audio Weekly
The Real Deal CNET.com Tom Merritt and Rafe Needleman Audio Weekly
Security Bites CNET.com and News.com Robert Vamosi Audio and video (on CNET TV) Weekly
Car Tech CNET.com Brian Cooley, Kevin Massy, and Wayne Cunningham Audio and video (on CNET TV) Weekly
The Queue (Discontinued after Rich DeMuro left CNET) CNET.com Rich DeMuro (former) Video (CNET TV) Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays
Tech and Politics Rundown CNET.com and News.com Charles Cooper and Declan McCullagh Audio Weekly
CNET Live CNET.com Tom Merritt and Brian Cooley Video (CNET TV) Thursdays
Dialed In CNET.com Kent German, Bonnie Cha, and Nicole Lee Audio Wednesdays
Crossfade TV Download.com, MP3.com Kurt Wolff, Mike Tao, Peter Gavin, and Anngie Dehoyos Video (CNET TV) Bi-weekly
Studio C CNET.com, Download.com, and MP3.com Kurt Wolff, Ariel Nunez, Mike Tao, and Peter Gavin Audio Weekly
The Hotspot Gamespot.com Vinny Caravella hosts with various other editors Audio Tuesdays
Gamespot UK Podcast Gamespot.co.uk Guy Cocker, Laura Jenner, Emma Boyes and(Occasionally) Alex Sassoon Coby Audio Bi-weekly (Thurs)
Crave UK Podcast CNET.co.uk Rory Reid and CNET.co.uk team Audio Weekly (Fri)
The Digital Home CNET.com Don Reisinger Audio Weekly
This text comes from Wikipedia. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikipedia.

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