The company's headquarters were in San Francisco . CNET was founded in 1992 by Halsey Minor and Shelby Bonnie. The company was listed on the NASDAQ under the symbol CNET until it was acquired by CBS Corporation . CNET Networks' revenue came from two main sources. Most important were the marketing services , i.e. the sale of ads , downloads and price comparisons. In addition, licenses for product data from CNET Content Solutions and other paid editorial content were granted. The classic print publishing business with magazines in China played a minor role.
On May 15, 2008, CNET Networks was acquired by CBS Corporation for $ 1.8 billion.
CNET Networks had 2007 revenues of $ 405 million and earnings before depreciation of $ 176 million. 148 million users generated around 83 million page views per day. At the end of 2007, CNET Networks had 2,700 employees worldwide.
Creation of the company
CNET was founded in 1992 after Halsey Minor (Russel Reynolds) and Shelby Bonnie (Tiger Management) jointly developed the idea of combining independent online content with an all-day cable channel dedicated to computers and technology. In 1993, Shelby Bonnie fully joined CNET, which Halsey Minor had now founded, and invested in business development. The company relocated from New York to San Francisco to be closer to Silicon Valley and the expanding technology scene.
In the mid-1990s, CNET produced a variety of television shows about computers , technology and the emerging internet . The programs were called CNET Central, The Web, The New Edge and later TV.com and News.com, which went live on CNBC in 1999 and was discontinued in 2001.
IPO and growth
In 1996 the company went public . The services Search.com, News.com, Gamecenter.com and Download.com were launched with the new capital. The Internet domains Kids.com, Events.com, Chat.com, Radio.com, and TV.com have been reserved. 1997 started with SNAP! an entry-level Internet service that competed with AOL and was acquired by NBC in 1998 . In 1997, Computers.com was the first to integrate purchase advice and price comparison into one service on the Internet . In 1998 Computers.com was expanded to include the Shopper.com portal , which provided daily price comparisons for over 100,000 technical products. In 1999, CNET laid the foundation for the product data business with the takeover of the Swiss company GDT, later called CNET Channel, now known as CNET Content Solutions .
At the beginning of 2000 CNET Networks took over the price comparison service mySimon and at the end of 2000 the company ZDNet , which today has nothing to do with the original namesake Ziff Davis , who sold his European magazine business with PC Professionell , PC Direkt and Internet Professionell to VNU Business Publications in 2001 Has. VNU has in turn sold the online rights to NetMediaEurope. Shelby Bonnie moved to the post of CEO, the founder Halsey Minor devoted himself to new investments.
NET gave up traditional radio (television and radio) in early 2001 and relied fully on broadband media ( radio, podcasting , streaming video). In mid-2001 took over CNET the TechRepublic from Gartner and built this community for IT professionals to more than four million members from. MP3.com and TV.com have been repositioned since the beginning of 2005 and together with Gamespot.com and GameFAQs.com as well as Metacritic formed the CNET Games, Entertainment, Lifestyle Group.
In October 2006, Neil Ashe took over as CEO from Bonnie, who focused on his board and investor roles and eventually left the company to start Whiskey Media.
The company's history ends with the takeover of CNET Networks by CBS Corporation in 2008. The brand name is continued by CBS Interactive, a subsidiary of the CBS Corporation group.
CNET Networks had popular Internet domains such as download.com, upload.com, news.com, tv.com, mp3.com, computers.com, search.com, and com.com.
Compromise of the web presence
In mid-July 2014 it became known that CNet had been the victim of a hacker attack. A Russian hacker group captured the website's database, which contained the personal data of over a million users.
- CBS Corporation to Acquire CNET Networks, Inc. CBS Corporation, May 15, 2008, archived from the original on January 5, 2010 ; accessed on February 29, 2020 (English).
- Form 10-K: CNET Networks, Inc. In: sec.gov . February 27, 2008, accessed August 5, 2008 .
- Fabian A. Scherschel: CNet news site hacked, source code disclosed. In: Heise Security . July 16, 2014, accessed February 29, 2020 .