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{{Redirect|CNET Networks|the successor online media company|CBS Interactive}}{{Redirect||the Australian news website|}}{{For|Centre National d'Études des Télécommunications (CNET), the research and development centre of France Télécom|France Télécom|Centre national d'études des télécommunications}}{{Use mdy dates|date=January 2019}}{{short description|American media website about technology and consumer electronics}}

| commercial = Yes| type = Technology News| registration = Optional| owner = CBS Interactive| author = Halsey Minor Shelby Bonnie| editor = Lindsey Turrentine Connie Guglielmo201921ALEXA INTERNET >TITLE=CNET.COM TRAFFIC, DEMOGRAPHICS AND COMPETITORS - ALEXA, July 21, 2019, | name = CNET| industry = JournalismTITLE=CNET.COM WHOIS, DNS, & DOMAIN INFO - DOMAINTOOLSWHOIS>DATE=, September 16, 2016, | current status = Online}}CNET (stylized as c|net), formerly Computer Network, is an American media website that publishes reviews, news, articles, blogs, podcasts and videos on technology and consumer electronics globally. Founded in 1994 by Halsey Minor and Shelby Bonnie, it was the flagship brand of CNET Networks and became a brand of CBS Interactive through CNET Networks' acquisition in 2008.WEB,weblink CBS Corporation to acquire CNET Networks, Inc., CBS Corporation, May 15, 2008, May 15, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink May 18, 2008, WEB,weblink CBS to buy CNET Networks, CNET, May 15, 2008, May 15, 2008, WEB,weblink CBS buying CNet in online push, CNN, May 15, 2008, May 15, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink May 17, 2008, WEB,weblink CBS Corporation completes acquisition of CNET Networks; merges operations into new, expanded CBS Interactive Business Unit, CBS Corporation, June 30, 2008, June 30, 2008, dead,weblink" title="">weblink August 29, 2008, CNET originally produced content for radio and television in addition to its website and now uses new media distribution methods through its Internet television network, CNET Video, and its podcast and blog networks.In addition, CNET currently has region-specific and language-specific editions. These include China, France, Germany, Japan, Korea and Spanish. According to third-party web analytics providers, Alexa and SimilarWeb, CNET is the highest-read technology news source on the Web, with over 200 million readers per month, being among the 200 most visited websites globally, as of 2015.WEB,weblink Site Overview,, June 28, 2015, WEB,weblink Top 50 sites in the world for News And Media > Technology News,, June 28, 2015, WEB,weblink Analytics,, June 28, 2015,


{{See also|CBS Interactive}}


(File:Logo CNET Networks.svg|thumb|left|100px|Logo of CNET Networks prior to acquisition by CBS Interactive)In 1994, with the help from Fox Network co-founderWEB,weblink Digital Hollywood Conference, September 27, 2000, November 14, 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink November 3, 2011, Kevin Wendle and former Disney creative associate Dan Baker,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, April 6, 2005, CNET Networks – About Us – History, CNET Networks, June 29, 2007, CNET produced four pilot television programs about computers, technology, and the Internet. CNET TV was composed of CNET Central, The Web, and The New Edge.CNETEntertainment Weekly {{webarchive|url= |date=April 21, 2009 }} CNET Central was created first and aired in syndication in the United States on the USA Network. Later, it began airing on USA's sister network Sci-Fi Channel along with The Web and The New Edge. These were later followed by in 1996. Current American Idol host Ryan Seacrest first came to national prominence at CNET, as the host of The New Edge and doing various voice-over work for CNET.In addition, CNET produced another television technology news program called that aired on CNBC beginning in 1999.From 2001 to 2003, CNET operated CNET Radio on the Clear Channel-owned KNEW (910) in the San Francisco Bay Area, WBPS (890) in Boston and on XM Satellite Radio. CNET Radio offered technology-themed programming. After failing to attract a sufficient audience, CNET Radio ceased operating in January 2003 due to financial losses.WEB,weblink CNet pulls plug on radio program, Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal, January 16, 2003, June 29, 2007,

Acquisitions and expansions

As CNET Networks, the site made various acquisitions to expand its reach across various web platforms, regions, and markets.In July 1999, CNET acquired the Swiss-based company GDT.WEB,weblink CNET Networks, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Aug 6, 1999,, March 27, 2013, GDT was later renamed to CNET Channel.WEB,weblink CNET Networks, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Apr 1, 2002,, March 27, 2013, In 1998, CNET granted the right to to set up CNET Asia and the operation was brought back in December 2000.WEB,weblink CNET-Ziff-Davis Merger Leaves Wondering, In January 2000, the same time CNET became CNET Networks,WEB,weblink CNET Networks, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jan 24, 2000,, March 27, 2013, they acquired comparison shopping site mySimon for $736 million.WEB,weblink CNET Networks, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Mar 10, 2000,, March 27, 2013, WEB,weblink CNET Acquires mySimon, InternetNews, January 20, 2000, January 19, 2008, In October 2000, CNET Networks acquired ZDNet for approximately $1.6 billion.WEB,weblink CNET Networks, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Oct 27, 2000,, March 27, 2013, WEB,weblink Cnet To Buy Ziff Davis, InformationWeek, July 19, 2000, June 29, 2007, WEB,weblink Interview With's Sydnie Kohara,, January 2001, June 29, 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink April 13, 2007, In January 2001, Ziff Davis Media, Inc. reached an agreement with CNET Networks, Inc. to regain the URLs lost in the 2000 sale of Ziff Davis, Inc. to SoftBank Corp. a publicly traded Japanese media and technology company. In April 2001, CNET acquired TechRepublic Inc., which provides content for IT professionals from Gartner, Inc., for $23 million in cash and stock.WEB,weblink CNET Networks, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date May 14, 2001,, March 27, 2013, WEB,weblink CNET acquires TechRepublic for $23 million, San Francisco Business Times, April 9, 2001, January 19, 2008, On July 14, 2004, CNET announced that it would acquire Webshots, the leading photography website for $70 million ($60 million in cash, $10 million in deferred consideration),WEB,weblink CNET Networks, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jul 21, 2004,, March 27, 2013, completing the acquisition that same month.WEB,weblink CNET Networks, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Aug 9, 2004,, Mar 27, 2013, PDF, WEB,weblink CNET Acquires Photo Service Webshots For $70 Million, dead,weblink" title="">weblink December 6, 2008, In October 2007, they sold Webshots to American Greetings for $45 million.WEB,weblink CNET Networks, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Oct 31, 2007,, Mar 27, 2013, PDF, In December 2006, James Kim, an editor at CNET, died in the Oregon wilderness. CNET hosted a memorial show and podcasts dedicated to him.On March 1, 2007, CNET announced the public launch of BNET, a website targeted towards business managers. BNET had been running under beta status since 2005.NEWS,weblink CNET Networks rolls out BNET, Web site targeting business managers, BtoB Magazine, March 1, 2007, June 29, 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink September 28, 2007, On May 15, 2008 it was announced that CBS Corporation would buy CNET Networks for US$1.8 billion.WEB,weblink CNET Networks, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date May 15, 2008,, March 27, 2013, WEB,weblink CBS Corporation to acquire CNET Networks, Inc., CBS Corporation, May 15, 2008, May 15, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink May 18, 2008, On June 30, 2008, the acquisition was completed.WEB,weblink CNET Networks, Form POS AM, Filing Date Jul 7, 2008,, March 27, 2013, Former CNET properties are now part of CBS Interactive. CBS Interactive now owns many domain names originally created by CNET Networks, including,,,,,,,,,,,, and September 19, 2013 CBS Interactive launched a Spanish language sister site under the name CNET en Español.NEWS,weblink Lindsey Turrentine, CNET en Español is here. Bienvenidos, CNET News, September 19, 2013, January 30, 2014, It focuses on topics of relevance primarily to Spanish-speaking technology enthusiasts. The site offered a "new perspective" on technology and is under the leadership of managing editor Gabriel Sama.NEWS,weblink Lindsey Turrentine, Meet the man who will run CNET en Español, CNET News, August 22, 2013, January 30, 2014, In March 2014, CNET refreshed its site by merging with CNET UK and vowing to merge all editions of the agency into a unified agency. This merge brought many changes, foremost of which would be a new user interface and the renaming of CNET TV as CNET Video.


CNET launched a website to cover video games, CNET Gamecenter, in the middle of 1996.WEB,weblinkweblink BASICS; Sites Keep Up With Games and Gamers, Olafson, Peter, The New York Times, December 7, 2000, May 23, 2018, live, According to the San Francisco Chronicle, it was "one of the first Web sites devoted to computer gaming news".WEB,weblinkweblink Heavy Lifting Begins for Cnet, February 15, 2001, Fost, Dan, San Francisco Chronicle, May 23, 2018, live, It became a leading game-focused website;WEB,weblinkweblink Cnet buys ZDnet, July 19, 2000, Vaggabond, Eurogamer, May 23, 2018, live, WEB,weblink" title="">weblinkweblink Desslock's Ramblings - Online Commercial Gaming Sites Continue to Disappear - (and others) Kaput, Desslock, February 8, 2001, GameSpot, December 18, 2001, dead, June 19, 2019, in 1999, PC Magazine named it one of the hundred-best websites in any field, alongside competitors IGN and GameSpot.JOURNAL, Willmott, Don, The 100 Top Web Sites, February 9, 1999, 18, 3, PC Magazine, 114, According to Gamecenter head Michael Brown, the site received between 50,000 and 75,000 daily visitors by late 2000. In May 2000, CNET founded the Gamecenter Alliance network to bring Gamecenter and four partner websites, including Inside Mac Games, under one banner.PRESS RELEASE,weblink" title="">weblinkweblink CNET Gamecenter Partners with Premier Gaming Sites to Create Elite Alliance, May 11, 2000, San Francisco, August 11, 2004, CNET, live, On July 19, 2000, CNET made public its plan to buy Ziff-Davis and its ZDNet Internet business for $1.6 billion.WEB,weblinkweblink CNet Is Buying What Remains Of Ziff-Davis, Kuczynski, Alex, Winter, Greg, July 20, 2000, The New York Times, August 23, 2010, live, Because ZDNet had partnered with SpotMedia—parent company of GameSpot—in late 1996,WEB,weblink" title="">weblinkweblink Ziff, SpotMedia Create Mega-Site for Games, September 19, 1996, Staff, Ad Age, May 23, 2018, live, the acquisition brought both GameSpot and Gamecenter under CNET's ownership.WEB,weblinkweblink CNET shuts Gamecenter, February 7, 2001, December 4, 2004, Smith, Andrew, The Register, live, Later that year, The New York Times described the two publications as the "Time and Newsweek of gaming sites". The paper reported that Gamecenter "seem[ed] to be thriving" amid the dot-com crash, with its revenue distributed across online advertising and an affiliate sales program with CNET's Game Shopper website, launched in late 1999.PRESS RELEASE,weblink',weblink CNET's Launches Game Shopper, October 27, 1999, PR Newswire, San Francisco, May 23, 2018, live, November 16, 2018, Following an almost $400 million loss at CNET as a result of the dot-com crash, the company ended the Gamecenter Alliance network in January 2001.WEB,weblinkweblink CNet culls GameCenter, February 7, 2001, Bramwell, Tom, May 23, 2018, Eurogamer, dead, On February 7, Gamecenter itself was closed in a redundancy reduction effort, as GameSpot was the more successful of the two sites. Around 190 jobs were cut from CNET during this period, including "at least 20" at Gamecenter, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Discussing the situation, Tom Bramwell of Eurogamer reported, "It is thought[...] that very few if any of the website's staff will move sideways into jobs at GameSpot, now the company's other gaming asset." The Washington Post later noted that Gamecenter was among the "popular video-game news sites" to close in 2001, alongside Daily Radar.WEB,weblinkweblink Magazines Whose Time Has Gone, Musgrove, Mike, August 3, 2001, The Washington Post, May 23, 2018, live, May 23, 2018,

Malware infection in downloads

With a catalog of more than 400,000 titles, the Downloads section of the website allows users to download popular software. CNET's provides Windows, Macintosh and mobile software for download. CNET claims that this software is free of spyware, but independent sources have confirmed that this is not the case. not only hosts software with malware, but their own download wrapper contains adware and bloatware.WEB,weblink Antivirus scan for 5bd70802c051fd95d0d78ac168385cd504705c00526ded2fd5edebdcc32d48f6 at 2011-12-05 22:23:24 UTC - VirusTotal, WEB,weblink Nmap Announce: C-Net Download.Com is now bundling Nmap with malware!, WEB,weblink wraps downloads in bloatware, lies about motivations - ExtremeTech, WEB,weblink Warning: (CNET Downloads) A cesspool for privacy invading malware and rogue software - Botcrawl, December 9, 2012, March 5, 2018, WEB,weblink Here’s What Happens When You Install the Top 10 Apps, WEB,weblink Caught Adding Malware to Nmap & Other Software,

Dispute with Snap Technologies

In 1998, CNET was sued by Snap Technologies, operators of the education service CollegeEdge, for trademark infringement relating to CNET's ownership of the domain name, due to Snap Technologies already owning a trademark on its name.WEB, Lisa Bowman,weblink Snap! Crackle! Popped! CNet hit with suit over portal name, ZDNet News, November 21, 1998, May 11, 2008, In 2005, Google representatives refused to be interviewed by all CNET reporters for a year after CNET published Google's CEO Eric Schmidt's salary, named the neighborhood where he lives, some of his hobbies and political donations.WEB,weblink Google balances privacy, reach (including Erik Schmidt's personal information), CNET, July 14, 2005, August 19, 2010, All the information had been gleaned from Google searches.NEWS,weblink Interview to E. Schmidt, The Independent, August 19, 2010, London, Jerome, Taylor, August 18, 2010, NEWS,weblink CNET: We've been blackballed by Google, CNN, August 5, 2005, August 19, 2010, On October 10, 2006, Shelby Bonnie resigned as chairman and CEO, in addition to two other executives, as a result of a stock options backdating scandal that occurred between 1996 and 2003.WEB,weblink CNET Networks, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Oct 11, 2006,, March 27, 2013, This would also cause the firm to restate its financial earnings over 1996 through 2003 for over $105 million in resulting expenses.NEWS,weblink CNet Restatement Goes Back to 1996, The New York Times, December 17, 2013, The Securities and Exchange Commission later dropped an investigation into the practice. Neil Ashe was named as the new CEO.NEWS,weblink CNET completes options review, CEO resigns, Reuters, October 11, 2006, December 17, 2012, JOURNAL,weblink CNET Avoids Backdating Charges, Aba Journal, November 5, 2011, July 8, 2011, {{citation|url=|title=Stock-Option Backdating Claims CNet's CEO|publisher= AdAge|date=October 11, 2006|accessdate=July 8, 2011}}In 2011, CNET and CBS Interactive were sued by a coalition of artists (led by FilmOn founder Alki David) for copyright infringement by promoting the download of LimeWire, a popular peer to peer downloading software.WEB, Albanesius, Chloe,,weblink CBS, CNET Sued for Copyright Infringement Over LimeWire Distribution, PC Magazine, May 11, 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink March 24, 2016, WEB, Anderson, Nate, Ars Technica,weblink CNET sued over LimeWire, blamed for "Internet Piracy Phenomenon", Ars Technica, May 4, 2011, Although the original suit was voluntarily dropped by Alki David, he vowed to sue at a later date to bring "expanded"WEB, Sam Gustin,weblink Alki David Drops CNET Lawsuit; Vows to Bring 'Expanded' Action, PaidContent, November 16, 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink January 8, 2012, action against CBS Interactive. In November 2011, another lawsuit against CBS Interactive was introduced, claiming that CNET and CBS Interactive knowingly distributed LimeWire, the file sharing software.WEB, Ernesto,,weblink Artists Sue CBS, CNET, for Promoting and Profiting from Piracy, TorrentFreak, November 15, 2011,

Hopper controversy

In January 2013, CNET named Dish Network's "Hopper with Sling" digital video recorder as a nominee for the CES "Best in Show" award (which is decided by CNET on behalf of its organizers), and named it the winner in a vote by the site's staff. However, CBS abruptly disqualified the Hopper, and vetoed the results because the company was in active litigation with Dish Network. CNET also announced that it could no longer review any product or service provided by companies that CBS are in litigation with (which also includes Aereo). The new vote subsequently gave the Best in Show award to the Razer Edge tablet instead.WEB, Dish Recorder Snubbed for CNET Award Over CBS Legal Scuffle,weblink The Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2013, Dish Network's CEO Joe Clayton said that the company was "saddened that CNET’s staff is being denied its editorial independence because of CBS’ heavy-handed tactics." On January 14, 2013, editor-in-chief Lindsey Turrentine addressed the situation, stating that CNET's staff were in an "impossible" situation due to the conflict of interest posed by the situation, and promised that she would do everything within her power to prevent a similar incident from occurring again. The conflict also prompted one CNET senior writer, Greg Sandoval, to resign.WEB, Albanesius, Chloe, CNET Picked Dish Hopper as 'Best of CES' ... Until CBS Stepped In,weblink PC Magazine, January 14, 2013, The decision also drew the ire of staff from the Consumer Electronics Association, the organizers of CES; CEO Gary Shapiro criticized the decision in a USA Today op-ed column and a statement by the CEA, stating that "making television easier to watch is not against the law. It is simply pro-innovation and pro-consumer." Shapiro felt that the decision also hurt the confidence of CNET's readers and staff, "destroying its reputation for editorial integrity in an attempt to eliminate a new market competitor." As a result of the controversy and fearing damage to the show's brand, the CEA announced on January 31, 2013 that CNET will no longer decide the CES Best in Show award winner due to the interference of CBS (the position has been offered to other technology publications), and the "Best in Show" award was jointly awarded to both the Hopper with Sling and Razer Edge.WEB, CNET loses CES awards following Dish Hopper controversy; DVR named 'Best In Show',weblink The Verge, January 31, 2013,



The reviews section of the site is the largest part of the site, and generates over 4,300 product and software reviews per year. The Reviews section also features Editors’ Choice Awards, which recognize products that are particularly innovative and of the highest quality.


CNET News (formerly known as, launched in 1996, is a news website dedicated to technology. CNET News received the National Magazine Award for General Excellence Online.NEWS,weblink CNET Wins Coveted National Magazine Award for General Excellence Online, Business Wire, May 5, 2004, January 31, 2014, Content is created by both CNET and external media agencies as news articles and blogs.


CNET Video, formerly called CNET TV, is CNET's Internet video channel offering a selection of on-demand video content including video reviews, "first looks," and special features. CNET editors such as Brian Cooley, Jeff Bakalar, Bridget Carey and Brian Tong host shows like Car Tech, The 404 Show, Quick Tips, CNET Top 5, Update, The Apple Byte, video prizefights, and others, as well as special reports and reviews. On April 12, 2007, CNET Video aired its first episode of CNET LIVE, hosted by Brian Cooley and Tom Merritt. The first episode featured Justin Kan of,weblink Wrap it up, WEB,weblink CNET Live: April 12, 2007 video,

How To

Officially launched August 2011, How To is the learning area of CNET providing tutorials, guides and tips for technology users.

See also



External links

{{CBS Interactive}}

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