Ace CNET Alley correspondent and budding media personality Caroline McCarthy reviews the recent flurry of big media web acquisitions. Given that online companies are sucking the life out of traditional media businesses (really–check this analysis out), this is not just smart, it’s essential. For the small sites, especially, the type of dollars being thrown around won’t break the bank, and valuations, though stretched, aren’t as loony as in the late 90s.
Some of Caroline’s key points:
- Just buying in isn’t everything–you also have to figure out how to run and integrate the new properties (as NBC has failed to do with iVillage, for example)
- Experience helps: Hearst Interactive has been at this steadily for more than 10 years–and it’s paying off.
To this we would add: The way for old media to play digital catch-up, it seems, is not to listen to your old media investment bankers and buy whatever “deal of the week” they’re pushing. Rather, it is to go out and hire an Internet expert who really knows what he or she is doing. CBS did this with Quincy Smith, and its web strategy has been far more shrewd than that of NBC and other competitors.