CBS is in the content business. C|Net is in the content business. CBS is known for TV shows favored by older adults. C|Net is known for online content targeting the technically astute and younger demo. In order for CBS to increase revenue it has often attempted to infuse its programming with younger fare and it hasn’t really worked. But that’s exactly what it has done with this bold move to purchase C|Net — the CBS portfolio just got younger.
CBS will learn from its younger, technical partner and C|Net will learn from CBS. (So long as they don’t silo up.) I expect great things to come out of the merger of these two very different media and two very different cultures. You see, tools (read Internet apps) are wonderful things but content is king. Bringing together two disparate elements, be they demographic or media, can often yield explosive breakthroughs. In this case, it all begins with Leslie Moonves and his willingness to put on his sneakers and play ball with Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive. The game has started and it’s looking good.