ViacomCBS Reaches Deal to Sell CNET for $500 Million to Marketing Firm Red Ventures

ViacomCBS is offloading CNET Media Group in a $500 million deal with digital-marketing company Red Ventures, which announced the deal Monday.

Under the deal, CNET Media Group EVP and GM Mark Larkin, along with the unit’s senior execs, will remain with Red Ventures following the acquisition. The CNET sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020. CNET Media Group has 980 employees and “our plan is to grow CNET in ways unforeseen,” a Red Ventures rep told Variety. She declined to address whether the company anticipates any layoffs following the deal close, saying that “right now we’re focusing on how we grow.”

CBS acquired CNET Networks in 2008 for $1.8 billion. In addition to the flagship CNET consumer-tech site, the CNET Media Group also houses brands including GameSpot, the Metacritic reviews-aggregation site, TVGuide.com, Chowhound, Roadshow, and B2B tech site ZDNet.

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