ViacomCBS to Sell CNET to Red Ventures for $500 Million

The acquisition of the tech site comes after weeks of talks

Last Updated: September 14, 2020 @ 5:33 AM

ViacomCBS announced Monday that it has sold the tech site CNET to Red Ventures in a $500 million deal.

Mark Larkin, EVP and GM of CNET Media Group, and his senior team will remain with the company to continue their leadership of the CNET Media Group team following the acquisition, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Red Ventures, founded in 2000, is a digital marketing outfit that also operates more than 100 digital brands with more than 3,000 employees across 10 U.S. cities, the U.K. and Brazil. The acquisition accelerates Red Ventures’ entry into new verticals, including consumer technology and gaming.

Earlier this year, Time Inc. announced a partnership with Red Ventures to launch a new personal finance site called NextAdvisor. In 2019, Red Ventures acquired Healthline Media, which includes Healthline.com, Greatist.com and Medical News Today.

“Red Ventures believes in the power of premium content from trusted brands that help people make better life decisions,” Red Ventures CEO and co-founder Ric Elias said in a statement. “Over the last 25 years CNET Media Group has built a dynamic portfolio of brands with well-earned authority on such topics as consumer tech and gaming that play an increasingly important role in people’s lives.”

Larkin added, “I believe that the combination of Red Ventures customer experience platform and CNET Media Group’s rich content and deep editorial expertise greatly benefits both our audiences and our partners. Red Ventures shares our vision and is committed to realizing the full potential of our portfolio of world-class brands.”

The deal comes after weeks of talks with the media holding company and a few years of expansion for Red Ventures: This year, the company entered into a partnership with Time Inc. to launch a personal finance site, NextAdvisor. In 2019, it acquired Healthline Media, including sites Healthline.comGreatist.com and Medical News Today (MNT). In 2017, Red Ventures acquired Bankrate, which includes Bankrate.comThe Points Guy, and CreditCards.com.

 Monday’s acquisition came at the price expected since reports first surfaced in mid-August.

CNET launched in 1994 and was originally a print magazine before it began producing video content. ViacomCBS bought CNET in June 2008 for $1.8 billion, and Viacom merged CNET with its existing CBS Interactive division.