What happens to CNET after it gets swallowed up by CBS? Execs are only talking about plans in broad strokes, at least until the deal closes at the end of July. But we got a few hints from CBS sales chief Jo Ann Ross Tuesday at PaidContent’s EconAds Seminar.
Ross believes there will be one CBS-CNET sales force selling TV and online, with most of CNET’s properties packaged withCBS Sports. CBS once had two sales forces — one for TV, another for the Web — but integrated them a few years ago. That made plenty of sense at CBS, where the vast majority of Internet buys are anchored by an offline investment in a specific TV show. It won’t be quite as obvious an integration with CNET’s standalone properties, though.
One example of online/TV synergy that already hasn’t panned out: Asking the CBS News team to sell with Wallstrip, the chatty finance Web show acquired last year. “We would like to be able to sell [Wallstrip] with our news product, but our news audience is so much older,” she said.