Why it matters that Charlotte-based Red Ventures just bought $500 million worth of digital media brands

Why it matters that Charlotte-based Red Ventures just bought $500 million worth of digital media brands
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In a $500 million deal with Viacom CBS, Red Ventures added CNET, the media group behind brands like TVGuide.com and Chowhound, to its growing portfolio.

What does that even mean, and why should you care?

Located in Fort Mill, Red Ventures is one of the Charlotte-area’s largest employers with over 3,000 employees throughout the media and technology company.

Ask anyone in Charlotte — most people know at least one person who is either a current or former RV employee.

[Related Agenda story: In the middle of a jobs crisis, tech academy Road to Hire graduated 58 people into high-paying positions in six months]

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CNET is another big name. A pioneer in digital media, its various platforms like Gamespot and TVGuide.com generate around 100 million unique visitors monthly. A quick browse through CNET brands, and you’ll find articles that range in topic from life on Venus to a review of the latest Marvel movie.

The deal could mean more opportunities for RV and the Charlotte area in general to grow as a digital media hub. (Especially exciting for media people like ourselves.)

The acquisition: Red Ventures’ president of media and technology Marc McCollum says the move will ultimately provide even better resources for consumers of Red Ventures’ brands in making important life decisions.

“For Red Ventures, it’s an opportunity to bring a business into our platform that really helps to connect consumers to life’s most important decisions around technology and automotive,” McCollum told the Agenda.

“For the CNET Media Group team, it’s really an opportunity to be a part of an organization that’s going to really invest in their brand.”

McCollum says CNET Media Group has around 900 employees and a global footprint. He says it’s too early to tell if the acquisition will lead to new jobs in the Charlotte area but Red Ventures doesn’t plan to make changes to the CNET Media Group team in the short term.

As for Charlotte-area Red Ventures employees, there will be opportunities to work on the CNET Media Group brands.

“The energy at Red Ventures is through the roof today,” McCollum says. “Everyone is super excited.”

Next steps: On Sunday, Red Ventures signed its intent to acquire the media group. From there the deal will go through regulatory and customary closing proceedings. McCollum says they expect the deal to close sometime before the end of the year.

“This is really a moment in time when consumers need quality content and information to make important decisions,” he says. “We believe Red Ventures has the right capabilities, the right culture, and the right momentum to help consumers during this time.”


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