Mashable would give CNN social media cred

Technology and social media news website Mashable may be bought by CNN for more than US$200 million, Reuters blogger Felix Salmon reported last week.

Founded in 2005 by young Scottish entrepreneur Pete Cashmore, the site is now one of the most influential websites dedicated to digital and has expanded to covering entertainment and business, The Wall Street Journal noted. In addition, Mashable is a global news syndication partner with networks including CNN and ABC.

One thing that makes Mashable’s reporting different than other outlets is that, for example, its journalists do not just cover social media, they are immersed in it, Steve Rubel, an executive vice president at Edelman public relation firm who studies the digital media industry, told The New York Times.

“If [CNN buys] Mashable and ingest[s] their social smarts, they will ensure their content finds news consumers rather than vice versa,” he said. Should CNN buy Mashable, it would be to increase “their social DNA as more news finds us via social networks.” Rubel said.

Mashable has “become a ‘legit’ news source, regardless of what old scruffy newspaper copy editors think,” wrote Don Martelli, executive editor of Technorati. CNN, meanwhile, validates Mashable’s content, reporting style and marketing of their brand.

CNN can also benefit from Mashable’s huge user base for expanding its Internet advertising, making ads appear on TV and Internet, the Wall Street Journal noted. Mashable drew 5.6 million visitors last month, according to comScore figures, while competing tech news site TechCrunch had 3.2 million visitors.

CNN showed its ambition to dominate across media channels last autumn when it bought Zite, a news application for the iPad, designed to offer users a personalised magazine-like experience, Globalpost noted.

The Independent, meanwhile, pointed out that some media analysts think $200 million is too excessive of a pricetag, others said the two provided a compatible fit by syndicating their platforms.

No one at either CNN or Mashable have confirmed the acquisition. “We do not engage in speculation about our business and we aren’t commenting on these reports,” CNN spokeswoman Christa Robinson told Reuters. The New York Times pointed out that Cashmore wrote to his staff from SXSW to clarify that “rumor going around on Twitter that Mashable will be acquired this week” was untrue.

“Which, of course, doesn’t mean an acquisition isn’t happening.” Staci Kramer wrote for paidContent.

Image: youthwant
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