Marketing firm Red Ventures to acquire tech news site CNET

The logo of technology blog CNET. (Logo: ViacomCBS/Red Ventures, Graphic: The Desk)

Marketing firm Red Ventures has reached an agreement with ViacomCBS to acquire technology news website CNET for $500 million.

The news was announced in a press release early Monday morning after it was first leaked to two reporters at the Wall Street Journal last month.

“Red Ventures believes in the power of premium content from trusted brands that help people make better life decisions,” Red Ventures chief executive Ric Elias said in a statement.

The move marks the end of CNET as technology news and review website with roots in the basic tenets of journalism. Red Ventures, which also owns the popular content blogs Healthline and Cord Cutters News, has a history of acquiring news websites and relaunching them into marketing blogs with a primary mission of selling goods and services to consumers under the guise of journalism.

“I believe that the combination of Red Ventures customer experience platform and CNET Media Group’s rich content and deep editorial expertise greatly benefits both our audiences and our partners,” Mark Larkin, an executive with the CNET Media Group, said in Monday’s press release.

The deal for CNET includes subsidiary brands, including TVGuide.com, Gamespot and Metacritic.

In addition to Healthline and Cord Cutters News, Red Ventures operates CreditCards.com, BankRate.com and The Points Guy.

The deal is expected to close later this year once regulatory approvals are cleared.