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Business CBSi Sells CNet, Metacritic, Gamespot, and Giant Bomb to Red Ventures (a digital marketing firm)

Maiden Voyage

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Publishing group Red Ventures today announced that it is buying CNET Media Group from ViacomCBS for $500 million. The deal will include the eponymous CNET tech site, as well as ZDNet, Gamespot, TVGuide, Metacritic and Chowhound.
“Red Ventures believes in the power of premium content from trusted brands that help people make better life decisions,” said Ric Elias, Red Ventures CEO and co-founder, 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. Red Ventures is eager to invest in CNET Media Group’s growth with more personalized consumer experiences that will reinvigorate CNET Media Group’s brands and unlock unprecedented opportunity for all.”
Gerstmann confirms the Gb sale on his personal blog:

More on Red Venture:
 

Bitmap Frogs

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Dec 26, 2008
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It's both hilarious and sad that the marketers decided to cut out the middlemen and straight out buy the media.

Here's an interesting quote from the press release after acquiring "modern consumer":

“This solidifies our position as an online marketing powerhouse,” said Red Ventures co-founder and CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) Dan Feldstein. “Modern Consumer’s expertise in online lead generation combined with our broad channel mix, sales engine and advanced analytics provides unlimited fuel for expansion into new product and service categories.”

“The acquisition will supercharge both businesses,” said Red Ventures co-founder and CEO Ric Elias. “Together, we can generate more online leads more efficiently, and ultimately make them more valuable to the companies we partner with. The Modern Consumer model will evolve from delivering leads to delivering customers.”
 
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LQX

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Dec 18, 2008
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I hope GiantBomb is safe as I bet this acquisition was most likely to get some of the bigger sites like CNET and GameSpot. Either-way I think they will be fine as they have a loyal audience that will gravitate to wherever the core dudes might end up.
 
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CitizenX

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Jul 15, 2020
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Giantbomb needed someone to push them instead of doing the same old, same old, same old. A team stuck in nostalgia as their audience has kept them falling behind year, after year, after year. I hate seeing talent wasted and they are perfect example.
 

frostyxc

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It's both hilarious and sad that the marketers decided to cut out the middlemen and straight out buy the media.

Here's an interesting quote from the press release after acquiring "modern consumer":

“This solidifies our position as an online marketing powerhouse,” said Red Ventures co-founder and CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) Dan Feldstein. “Modern Consumer’s expertise in online lead generation combined with our broad channel mix, sales engine and advanced analytics provides unlimited fuel for expansion into new product and service categories.”

“The acquisition will supercharge both businesses,” said Red Ventures co-founder and CEO Ric Elias. “Together, we can generate more online leads more efficiently, and ultimately make them more valuable to the companies we partner with. The Modern Consumer model will evolve from delivering leads to delivering customers.”
These are people who create nothing trying to justify their existence via the vaguest language possible. It sounds like they just want the analytics and not the actual sites.

$500 million for these sites.

No way this venture firm is going to get back returns to make it worth it.
According to some info posted by Mushoomba Mushoomba in the Giant Bomb OT, CBS paid $1.8 billion for CNET in 2008. Quite the return on investment! Ouch.
 

Azzurri

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Jun 13, 2007
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What's up with Giant Bomb? I don't think I've followed or listen to one of their podcast in like 8 years.

I remember when they branched off from Gamespot back in the late 2000s. and had really awesome stuff with like 5 or so people.
 
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Northeastmonk

Gold Member
Mar 18, 2013
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I always listened to the hard core Giant Bomb fans and I’m a fan myself. It’s just hard relating myself to their thing. I don’t even know what it is. I tried to fit in, but it didn’t feel right at home. I appreciate their efforts. Sometimes I get newsletters about meals and wrestling. I’ve been a bit hesitant about putting on their latest podcast.
 

Dave_at_Home

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Jun 19, 2020
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What's up with Giant Bomb? I don't think I've followed or listen to one of their podcast in like 8 years.

I remember when they branched off from Gamespot back in the late 2000s. and had really awesome stuff with like 5 or so people.
Been wondering that myself.

When Ryan Davis died, it hurt them BIG TIME. He was the guy with the energy that could tie a messy show into a pretty bow. Then the split happened. For me anyway, that's when the site took a major dive. There's just no passion. Nothing of any real interest is done. They're rudderless. It's sad. Once the innovators and now everyone has gone by them. I'm subscribed to numerous YouTubers that give fantastic deep-dives on all sorts of games. GiantBomb by comparison is doing absolutely jack fucking shit. Half-baked ideas and boring talking head videos. I'm still a subscriber myself and I just don't know why anymore. I'm definitely not re-upping again. I don't think they can fix this and they sure as shit will never recognize there's anything wrong in the first place. They seem to actively dislike their own audience. Whatever.

Golden era Whiskey Media forever.
 
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Kdad

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Sep 20, 2018
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I was just listening to TWiT #788 a day ago and Leo had a long time ZDNet employee on and ask them about the possibility of getting sold....poor dude had no clue for sure.

Long time ago CNet was worth a click but it's been trash for sooooo long now.
 
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TheUsual

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Dec 10, 2009
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Maybe it'll give Giant Bomb a spark of new creative ideas. Once my sub ran out earlier this year I didn't renew. Site was gold during the PS3/Xbox 360 era for me but my interest in it has just fallen off a cliff over the past year.
 

Krapalicious

Neo Member
Sep 7, 2019
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Haven't listened/watched Giant Bomb for years. Didn't jive with any of the people that worked there.

However, I did enjoy their E3 After Dark streams, but their streams for the past 3 or 4 years have been a snooze fest.

But, Jeff's interviews with Phil Spencer at E3 is definitely worth watching.
 
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CitizenX

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Jul 15, 2020
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Jeff basically hates video games, Gabby Abby it's terrible. She talks over everyone and her voice is like nails on a chalkboard. It's sad......oh yea and they are also woke and bring on that asshat Austin Walker.
They actually had a ;30 minute discussion about the new paper Mario. 30 Fcking minutes. 30!!!!! Heres how the discussion should have gone, its another (Insert Nintendo game name here), next.
 
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Mushoomba

Formerly '_MushroomSamba_'
Aug 15, 2020
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This is a good summary of what Giant Bomb has been doing since February. I wouldn’t be surprised if they merge with Gamespot or just close for good.

The only reason they might survive could be because of the Premium subs. They’re a small site with probably less expenses than the rest of the CNET group. The podcast ad money combined with premium subs might be enough to pay for expenses and make a small amount of profit, idk. Either that or the new bosses will be so busy restructuring the releve at sites that they’ll forgot about GB. They could at least downsize GB though, starting with the new hires.
 
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chriskun

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Dec 7, 2006
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Stopped listening a few months ago sadly when they were apologizing about having people on in the past that had allegations against them and were cancelled. It was the last straw over several years of creeping wokeness. I remember after George Flyod, Ben said he didnt feel comfortable watching Brooklyn 999 or whatever that show is called. You cant watch a fucking comedy? Its not the fuckin Shield for Christ’s sake. Then Dan left, the only person that doesnt whine about politics. The show used to be fun, if only we could go back....
 

supernova8

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Jun 2, 2020
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Here's hoping they overhaul Giant Bomb. What a mess that's become.
Eazy Allies is what they should've done. At least they are relatively well-organised. I'm not a Patreon or anything but I could imagine feeling I get my money's worth considering how much content they put out.
 

TeezzyD

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Giant Bomb got political?

Lol

Idk man: Jeff, Vinnie, Alex, and Brad will always be cool to me. Dan added a much needed dose of energy after Ryan passed. He was the only new cast member worth a damn
I just enjoy the old GameSpot crew. Those guys helped shape my tastes during the ps2/xbox/gcn era. I was a kid then. Jeff Gerstmann will never not be cool to me.
 
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hariseldon

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Aug 22, 2018
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These are people who create nothing trying to justify their existence via the vaguest language possible. It sounds like they just want the analytics and not the actual sites.


According to some info posted by Mushoomba Mushoomba in the Giant Bomb OT, CBS paid $1.8 billion for CNET in 2008. Quite the return on investment! Ouch.
Yep, this is just the standard play for failing websites - think of what happened to MySpace over the years, passing through multiple owners each paying less than the last and becoming less relevant each time. It never ends well.
 

TeezzyD

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Bob Mackey and Jeremy Parish get preachy too, but I'd never not respect Retronauts. Separating art from artist goes both ways afaic.
 
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sn0man

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Bob Mackey and Jeremy Parish get preachy too, but I'd never not respect Retronauts. Separating art from artist goes both ways afaic.
Yeah I still like the majority of them and feel similarly. I hope they divorce themselves from cnet though as it feels like an odd fit.
 

PuppetMaster

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Jun 12, 2007
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I prefer GB East to GB West. Mostly because I like Vinny!

Mostly stopped listening to GB West now. Except on weeks when there is big news going on like a console reveal or something.

Both GB East and West can be very political recently. But at least with Vinny I feel it comes from real empathy. And even if I dont always agree with him. At least I don't feel like he is just parrotting what every one else is saying along party line. Or saying things devoid of free thought.

The youngest members Ben and Abby are air heads. But at least Abby is funny sometimes. And has unique perspectives. But when Ben talks, I fast forward.
 

Daggereye

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Sep 10, 2020
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Hopefully they'll be OK, I love giantbomb, it would be really sad if 12 years of content just suddenly disappeared. I respect their opinions a lot, they don't bullshit when it comes to games.
 

brap

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Jan 9, 2018
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Giant Bomb got political?

Lol

Idk man: Jeff, Vinnie, Alex, and Brad will always be cool to me. Dan added a much needed dose of energy after Ryan passed. He was the only new cast member worth a damn
I just enjoy the old GameSpot crew. Those guys helped shape my tastes during the ps2/xbox/gcn era. I was a kid then. Jeff Gerstmann will never not be cool to me.
Jeff is in his 40s, talks like a teen girl, and gets offended about everything. So cool.
 

GymWolf

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Jun 11, 2019
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Gamespot, metacritic and giantbomb?? This is what i call a quality purchase...

A retarded site with woke reviews, the site for people who can't form an idea without searching for scores and the place where jeff the grumpy and abby the annoying works, if they add waypoint and ign to that it's the most proper shitty package i saw in years...
 
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worldwithpyramids

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Sep 3, 2020
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Giant Bomb has been garbage for years now. Their year-end discussions, the one thing they still had going, were completely neutered last year to the point of being unwatchable. Jeff’s taste in games is equivalent to a food critic who only eats at McDonald’s. Jason is an annoying yes-man who has social anxiety to the point that he can hardly speak coherently. Abby and Ben constantly try to make jokes because they have nothing of substance to add. Alex has been checked out for years.
 

Miku Miku

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Jan 13, 2018
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What is the oldest that someone can be a games journalist without it being prohibitively pathetic?

Find out on the next season of Giant Bomb!
 
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Revolutionary

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Just dissolve Giant Bomb at this point. Their prime was like 8 years ago.
Eazy Allies is what they should've done. At least they are relatively well-organised. I'm not a Patreon or anything but I could imagine feeling I get my money's worth considering how much content they put out.
Easy Allies is dying too, you know. Been on a downward spiral for 2 years, and Bosman leaving has cut what remains of the viewership nearly in half. He regularly pulls more Twitch viewers as well. Sure, it's not a competition... but it is telling of EZA's current struggles.