Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

CNET layoffs

Posted on | March 26, 2008 | No Comments

This surprises few, but even thoughtful journalism online is taking a beating. CNET announced today it is laying off 10 percent of its staff, or 120 people. No word on who’s affected yet.
Yes, they’ve clearly become an organizational and brand mess over the past couple of years. But online they’re the gold standard of tech reporting and have been since Day One. The TechCrunchs of the world have their place–no doubt–but they don’t hold the place of trusted source in the way that CNET/News.com does, at least not for me.
So let’s revisit today’s earlier post and the comments that have so far come in. Does the model hold online when the advertising technology, in its current form, just is not cutting the mustard? Banner ads, engagement metrics etc. don’t bolster the model if they don’t return real numbers and deliver product sales for the advertisers. There’s growing advertiser discontent that the online road ain’t paved with gold, even though they’re moving more dollars there.
Douglas McIntyre on 24/7 Wall Street today tries to value 25 of the top blogs. Some of these guys may be making decent coin and margin if they’re a handful of editors, but this model doesn’t look like it scales very well at all.

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Comments

No Responses to “CNET layoffs”

  1. Lou Covey
    March 26th, 2008 @ 7:23 pm

    The Washington Post got their hands on the internal memo.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/26/AR2008032602433.html

    It sound like they are going to cut back on and reorganize infrastructure more than reduce editorial staff.

    I think this still is a good example of the earlier post. Many successful Internet sites have concentrated on the tech for a long time, but they are finding that what they are selling is content. CNet may have just figured out they needless tech and more content.

  2. Loring Wirbel
    March 26th, 2008 @ 8:01 pm

    But you can run into the contrary problem of not defining the markets you cover well enough. Case in point – CNET used to have a tab called “communications,” then separate tabs for “access” and “wireless”, then they ditched access and just kept wireless. Well, if I want to find the latest dirt about Ciena or a Bookham-Avanex merger, I guess I can’t go to CNET, because they see any communications outside wireless as not worth covering. Careful with the content definition, gang.

  3. Anonymous
    March 27th, 2008 @ 9:49 am

    Cnet never knew who its readers were and still doesn’t. I can’t, for the life of me, figure out what its priorities are and who it’s trying to reach.

  4. Anonymous
    July 17th, 2008 @ 10:24 pm

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