Red Ventures to acquire CNET Media Group from ViacomCBS

Noble Horvath

Red Ventures, an Indian Land, S.C.-based marketing and technology company, said Monday it will buy CNET Media Group for $500 million. Among the well-known brands Red Ventures is picking up is TV Guide. The Charlotte-area firm is set to acquire CNET, a digital media company, from ViacomCBS, in a transaction […]

Red Ventures, an Indian Land, S.C.-based marketing and technology company, said Monday it will buy CNET Media Group for $500 million. Among the well-known brands Red Ventures is picking up is TV Guide.

The Charlotte-area firm is set to acquire CNET, a digital media company, from ViacomCBS, in a transaction expected to close in the fourth quarter. CNET Media Group includes websites like CNET, Gamespot, Metacritic and TVGuide.com.

It’s the latest acquisition for Red Ventures, after purchasing personal finance website Bankrate for $1.4 billion in 2017, and Healthline Media last year for an undisclosed amount.

Red Ventures has expanded rapidly in recent years due in large part to those deals.

Founded two decades ago as a startup, Red Ventures employs around 3,000, including about 1,800 in the Charlotte area.

The company will be adding around 900 workers from the CNET Media Group transaction, said Marc McCollum, president of Media and Technology at Red Ventures, though he said they have no plans to relocate them. CNET is based in San Francisco.

New sectors

Red Ventures owns digital brands focused on travel, health, finance, and other areas. But purchasing CNET helps Red Ventures expand into other sectors, like consumer technology and gaming, Red Ventures said in the release.

McCollum said Red Ventures was drawn to the quality content produced by CNET Media Group’s brands and the trust readers have in the websites.

We believe that that type of editorial content is central to how consumers make decisions,” he said. “…Our investments will be around continuing to build that content and finding new ways to distribute it so that more consumers have access.”

Red Ventures has also shifted other aspects of its business.

Last year, Red Ventures announced it would close a north Charlotte call center and consolidate operations at its main campus, which impacted 260 full-time employees.

The firm said workers would be able to move to the headquarters building or interview for positions with the company taking over the lease in the new space, the Observer reported.

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Danielle Chemtob covers economic growth and development for the Observer. She’s a 2018 graduate of the journalism school at UNC-Chapel Hill and a California transplant.

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