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Summary:

CBS Interactive (NYSE: CBS), the digital media arm of CBS, is finally opening up a fully staffed office in Menlo Park, CA, in an apparent at…

CBS Interactive (NYSE: CBS), the digital media arm of CBS, is finally opening up a fully staffed office in Menlo Park, CA, in an apparent attempt stir innovation and content development…this comes about 18 months after Quincy Smith took over at the interactive head, promising to find the next YouTube “only a year earlier, when they were 1/32nd of their size.” Translated, it meant that the company wanted to merge big media (read NYC) with early-stage startups in Silicon Valley.

It took a while coming, and none to soon, as the parent company is under a mini-siege of sorts about its performance, Leslie Mooves’ salary, Katie Couric’s disastrous tenure at the company, layoffs (even on the digital side, as others are ramping up) and other issues. This NY Times story lays out the troubles and challenges the company is facing now.

The parent company doesn’t break out interactive revenues, but analysts estimate it at several hundred million dollars. Moonves said at a conference earlier this year that its “online revenues are north of $200 million, growing 30 to 40 percent”. Jessica Reif Cohen of Merrill Lynch is more critical: while the network had taken

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  1. I predict that CBS will make a play to buy WebMD before the year is over. WebMD is losing ground and the stock has been creamed from the high 60's to the low 20's.

    Just a thought.

  2. WebMD and Answers.com would be nice buys. Both are trading at paltry sums compared with historic valuations. Answers has WikiAnswers (fasted growing site in '07 per ComScore) and should pass Yahoo! Answers as the top Q&A;site in late '08 early '09.

    Add these to LastFM to significantly increase scope, inventory and content to sell to advertisers. Cross promote the CBS brand and the sites and they quickly pay for themselves.

  3. Of course CNET has already happened since this story was written. But WebMD is also a very interesting idea if they still have means to pull off another acquisition. This would be a good property given that CBS still skews high in audience age. It would be a nice complement for traditional news and represent a very attractive cross platform buy for lucrative pharma advertising.

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