WSJ: ViacomCBS Puts CNet, Publishing Arm, ‘Black Rock’ On The Block


One of the world’s best-known technology news portals could soon be shed from the ViacomCBS asset stable.

According to The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, CNET is one non-core asset that it hopes to spin — and Red Ventures LLC appears to be the buyer.

All is mum at ViacomCBS, with the last press release distributed on August 12, featuring a statement on the death of Sumner Redstone.

A sale of CNET is hardly a surprise; it is not even shown among the brands featured on the ViacomCBS website. On the CNET website, it is shown as part of CBS Interactive Inc.

What is Red Ventures LLC? It’s a portfolio of digital companies including Healthline Media, acquired in July 2019.

The WSJ quoted “people familiar with the matter” in putting the price tag at roughly $500 million. CNET was created in 1992 and was purchased by CBS in 2008 for $1.8 billion.

However, these unnamed sources also warned that a deal was far from final and could fizzle.

Meanwhile, ViacomCBS is also reportedly seeking no less than $1.2 billion for its book publishing arm, Simon & Schuster, and has put its famed “Black Rock” Midtown Manhattan-located CBS headquarters up for sale. That could net upward of $800 million.

ViacomCBS shares were down 36 cents to $26.87 with less than 40 minutes remaining in Tuesday’s trading.