Mashable, a social news website, is reported to be in talks with CNN concerning a possible takeover. The talks are in an advanced stage and are said to be leading toward an acquisition according to some close to the matter. The story was reported in the New York Times this morning. A Reuters correspondent had reported last Saturday that such a deal may take place as early as Tuesday. Representatives of both companies refused to comment on the matter. on the matter warned that the talks were not a foregone conclusion and the merger may not happen. CNN is owned by Time Warner (NYSE:TWX)
Mashable.com is a popular social news site that concentrates on tech news. It utilises the connections people make through their social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to encourage news sharing. The acquisition would be an unusual one for CNN. The company has one of the most popular and exhaustive news websites covering the United States. However ratings on its news network have not been promising in recent years. If it goes through this would be the largest acquisition CNN has ever made. The size of the acquisition points to a possible change in the News Networks strategy, particularly in its web business. It’s previously largest acquisition was for a company called Zite. That company’s most notable product was an app for smart phones and tablets which tried to distinguish what people wanted to read and watch from past behaviour and other indicators.
Mashable’s coverage of social media and technology has been picked up by the larger organisations before. Both CNN and ABC have previously used the site as a source and CNN has syndicated its work in the past. The acquisition points to CNN’s wish to expand its tech reporting incorporating startups and social media developments. This show at least a willingness for the company to change and travel in a new direction rather than remain in its past path. The fact that they are willing to change and spend large amounts of money on it in the process is an inspiring one for any with a stake in the company.
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The Times reported a hint that the merger might go through and one that mashable might have reported itself. After the Reuters story was released on Saturday Adam Ostrow, CEO of Mashable, liked the story on Facebook. If this is an indication of anything it may simply be of the mashable CEO’s playful nature. News regarding the merger’s success or failure should be released this week.