Larry Kramer was there from the start when CBS (NYSE: CBS) started getting serious about digital with the predecessor to what became CBS MarketWatch until the eventual sale to Dow Jones (NYSE: NWS), and then was brought in again by Les Moonves when CBS Digital was founded March 2005…he left in November 2006 when Quincy Smith was brought in, and CBS moved from the build-only mode to add the buy mode. Kramer consulted with CBS for a while after that, and of course, as you know, is on our company board now. I was with him at the OPA conference in London today, and did a short video on his reaction about the deal. Some of the main points:
– Transformational deal for CBS…needed to bulk up to get more respect internally and externally
– Timing of the deal
– Operational challenges on the integration of CNET (NSDQ: CNET) into CBS
– The need for a strong management for CNET under CBS
– The difference in pace between CBS and CNET
– The pressure on Quincy Smith and the team to show this deal as an operational success.
– Online advertising in the next year, and its effect on the deal
– San Francisco as a digital hub for CBS
Disclaimer again: Kramer is on our company board.