CNN to buy Mashable for $200M?, report

Bambi Francisco Roizen · March 12, 2012 · Short URL:

Seven-year-old blogging site could get snapped up as early as Tuesday

There's no confirmation yet of a deal, but the biggest news to hit the rumor mill this morning is that CNN is in talks to buy blogging site Mashable.

The pricetag: $200 million.

The news was first reported by Reuters, and the New York Times confirmed that indeed both sides were in "advanced talks." I sent an email to Mashable founder Pete Cashmore to confirm. But I've not heard back yet.

If the acquisition is announced, reports have it pegged at Tuesday morning, it will be the largest acquisition made by CNN. And, it would certainly be one of the largest acquisitions of a tech blogging site. In September 2010, AOL bought TechCrunch for $25 million. In 2008, UK-based Guardian Media Group was sold for around $10 million, according to sources, though the pricetag at the time was a reported $30 million. If the deal goes through, it will actually put Mashable close to the $315 million deal between AOL and Huffington Post. 

It wouldn't be surprising for CNN to make such a move. it's had close ties with Mashable, which was founded in 2005, for several years, syndicating many of Mashable stories and featuring its young founder Pete Cashmore. Today, Mashable, known for focusing on everything social, has 20 million monthly unique visitors, 2.7 million followers on Twitter and about 100,000 followers on Facebook.

Also, just last week, CNN announced its new accelerator, called Media Camp, a new San Francisco-based accelerator designed to find start-ups innovating space. This follows CNN's acquisition of ZIte, which creates a personalized experience for news on tablets. That acquisition cost a reported $20 million to $25 million. David Austin, one of the directors of Media Camp, told me that one of the rationales behind the accelerator program is to get into these fast-growing start-ups a year or two before they get really big.  

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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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