The rumor mill is churning over time this morning with news that CNN may be in advanced talked to purchase social media blog Mashable for $200 million.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a high-priced buyout of a blog by a media conglomerate, but apparently just such a story has been all the rage this weekend at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin. According to Felix Salmon of Reuters, CNN is in advanced discussions with Mashable about purchasing the seven-year-old social media blog for $200 million. The New York Times has backed up this rumor with three sources of its own, with some saying the announcement could come as soon as tomorrow.
The other side of the coin, however, is that Mashable founder Pete Cashmore is reportedly denying the talks to senior level staff at the company. As TechCrunch points out, the same thing happened with the AOL talks of acquiring that blog until Tim Armstrong walked in one day and was announced as the new boss. PaidContent has also chimed in saying that its sources are saying that the deal is definitely on the table, but it is not locked down as of yet, and the announcement more than likely won’t happen tomorrow as many are speculating.
There was a time where high-profile blog acquisitions such as this were common place, but they have definitely slowed over the years. This particular deal would make a lot of sense as Cashmore has been writing a weekly column for CNN for some time now, and the news network currently syndicates their articles. Bringing Mashable into the CNN fold would make sense on a lot of fronts, but as several reports have pointed out, the deal is still not sealed.
Disclaimer: I was employed by Mashable from July 2007 to April 2009.