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CBS' Moonves On CNet Acquisition

In an interview with paidContent, Les Moonves explains why CBS decided to buy CNet Networks instead of The Weather Channel, as the media giant considered making an acquisition to strengthen its digital offerings. "Both have their values," Moonves said. "I think CNet for us-premium content being sold online across various categories seemed to fit better with what CBS is and what CBS wants to be in the future. That's not saying that Weather (Channel) is not a very valuable asset, as well. But using the technology of CNet and their brands and their content along with our brands and our content and our sales expertise just seemed to fit better as I said for now and in the future."

The CBS CEO said he believes the newly integrated CBS Interactive, which will include both CNet and CBS News, will have revenues of $1 billion by 2010-2011, with revenue of low-mid $600 million this year.

As for explaining the CNet acquisition to wary shareholders, Moonves said: "I don't think most of the investment community knew CNet very well or what it had and how it could fit together...In addition, we bought at a time when clearly people are nervous about advertising because of advertising conditions and CNet is an advertising acquisition. Advertising is not in good stead right now. Clearly, it will come back and come back strongly. We think this is going to make perfect sense. When you see what the numbers are going to be in the future, once again, this is a company that sells advertising and actually makes a profit. How unusual for an internet company.

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