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History and Ownership Changes

– CNET was founded in 1992 by Halsey Minor and Shelby Bonnie.
– CNET launched its online platform in June 1995.
– In 1996, CNET had its initial public offering (IPO).
– CBS Corporation acquired CNET Networks for $1.8 billion in May 2008.
– Red Ventures acquired CNET from ViacomCBS for $500 million in October 2020.
– CNET’s AI-generated articles faced criticism for errors and plagiarism in 2023.
– CNET’s reporters claimed they were pressured to be more favorable to advertisers in 2023.
– CBS Corporation sold CNET Media Group to Red Ventures for $500 million in September 2020.
– ViacomCBS reached a deal to sell CNET for $500 million to Red Ventures in 2020.
– CNET had region- and language-specific editions in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish.

Acquisitions and Expansions

– CNET acquired the Swiss-based company GDT, later renamed to CNET Channel, in 1999.
– CNET Networks acquired ZDNET for approximately $1.6 billion in October 2000.
– CNET Networks acquired comparison shopping site mySimon for $736 million in January 2000.
– CNET acquired TechRepublic, providing content for IT professionals, for $23 million in cash and stock in April 2001.
– CNET Networks acquired review aggregation website Metacritic in August 2005.
– CNET purchased Ziff Davis in July 2000.
– CNET bought trade publication TechnologyAdvice in 2021.

Controversial Practices and Criticism

– CNET used a machine to write articles without disclosing it, leading to serious errors and plagiarism.
– Red Ventures, CNET’s parent company, allegedly breached editorial firewalls and pressured reporters to provide favorable coverage to advertisers.
– CNET deleted thousands of old articles to improve search engine rankings, a practice criticized by Google.
– CNET faced backlash for deleting old articles to manipulate Google search results.
– CNET’s French and Japanese websites include, GameSpot Japan, and
– CNET’s download platform,, bundled software with malware.
– CNET was criticized for adding bloatware to its downloads.
– CNET was caught adding malware to Nmap and other software.

CNET’s Influence and Impact

– CNET launched Gamecenter in 1996, one of the first websites dedicated to computer gaming news.
– Gamecenter became a leading game-focused website and received between 50,000 and 75,000 daily visitors by late 2000.
– CNET founded the Gamecenter Alliance network, bringing together Gamecenter and four partner websites.
– Nielsen//NetRatings ranked Gamecenter as the sixth-most-popular gaming website in the US by mid-2000.
– CNET’s articles and reviews were highly regarded in the gaming community.
– CNET was known for its comprehensive coverage of technology news.
– CNET’s closure of marked a decline in its influence.
– CNET’s articles and reviews were often referenced by other publications.
– CNET’s closure of was seen as a loss for the gaming community.

Related Websites and Platforms

– ZDNet, TechCrunch, TechRadar, and Wired are related websites in the tech industry.
– CNET’s acquisition by CBS Corporation was completed in 2008.
– CNET Networks merged into CBS Interactive’s expanded business unit in 2008.
– CNET had an official website where users could access its content.
– CNET was part of the CNET Media Group.
– CNET had a video platform called CNET Video.
– CNET operated, a platform for software downloads.
– CNET owned, a website for television-related content.

CNET (Wikipedia)

CNET (short for "Computer Network") is an American media website that publishes reviews, news, articles, blogs, podcasts, and videos on technology and consumer electronics globally. CNET originally produced content for radio and television in addition to its website before applying new media distribution methods through its internet television network, CNET Video, and its podcast and blog networks.

Type of businessSubsidiary
Type of site
Technology, news
OwnerRed Ventures
Created by
  • Lindsey Turrentine
  • Connie Guglielmo
  • 1992; 32 years ago (1992) (CNET, Inc.)
  • June 1995; 28 years ago (1995-06) (website)
Current statusOnline

Founded in 1992 by Halsey Minor and Shelby Bonnie, it was the flagship brand of CNET Networks and became a brand of CBS Interactive through that unit's acquisition of CNET Networks in 2008. It has been owned by Red Ventures since October 30, 2020.

Other than English, CNET's region- and language-specific editions include Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish.[citation needed]

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