CNN to acquire Mashable?

The New York Times’ Brian Stelter writes about CNN being in talks to acquire Mashable…

Mashable, which is seven years old and is privately held, would be’s largest acquisition to date. Last fall, acquired Zite, a company that made an iPad app that determines what its users want to read and view, for a price that was estimated to be between $20 million and $25 million. Mashable would cost CNN far more to acquire.

Mashable is best-known in Internet circles for covering social media and technology, though it has expanded recently to include business and entertainment coverage. It has hired aggressively and has partnered with a number of mainstream news sites, including CNN and ABC News. CNN already syndicates some of its stories.

It’s one thing for a network to successfully acquire and integrate a company which makes an app that does a specific thing. It’s another thing entirely to successfully integrate a company and product with a distinct look, feel, and culture with a much larger company with a totally different look, feel, and culture (see News Corp/MySpace, Time-Warner/AOL, AOL/Huffington Post). Such deals often look great on paper until they attempt to carry them out and all sorts of unexpected bad things start happening.

I have great fear that the CNN-ification of Mashable will destroy much of what made Mashable so successful and alienate its user base. The only way I see it could work is for CNN to leave it independent and not try to integrate it in any significant way with But if CNN took a very hands off attitude with Mashable, would that not defeat the very reason for wanting to acquire it in the first place?

Update: TVNewser’s Alex Weprin chimes in

The price seems steep. It is tough to gauge without knowing the financial details, but that is a lot of money to spend, especially when CNN acquired digital magazine Zite last year for around one-tenth of that price. Mashable may be worth it, but it might not be too.

How would it work? Would Mashable remain independent? Would it be folded into (i.e., what happens to the Mashable employees and the CNN employees that write about social media and technology? The details are sketchy, and if the integration does not work, it could spell trouble for CNN’s bottom line.


2 Responses to “CNN to acquire Mashable?”

  1. Rumors that negotions with Gary Burghoff have broken off are unfounded.

  2. Oh I hope they don’t

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