Kara Swisher

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CNET and Yahoo Broadly Expand Editorial and Ad Relationship


When it reports its first-quarter earnings this afternoon, CNET Networks (CNET) will also announce a much expanded editorial and advertising relationship with Yahoo (YHOO) that will give the tech news site broad distribution on the highly trafficked Internet portal.

CNET and Yahoo have had content licensing deals in the past, in which some CNET content has been featured in the tech areas of Yahoo.

But in 2006, Yahoo launched a more robust tech section, which includes original blogs and reviews, and which many saw as a direct competitor to sites like CNET.

Yahoo more recently launched a Tech Ticker site, a blog-like site aimed at tech investors with original material and a lot of videos, along with content from partners (including AllThingsD.com).

Under the new deal, sources at both companies said a large swath of CNET tech news and also reviews will be carried on Yahoo, making it the major supplier of tech news content to the site. Rather than just focusing on its owned-and-operated properties, Yahoo’s more recent strategy has been to partner with media companies.

In addition, under the terms of the deal, Yahoo will sell some of CNET’s remnant inventory and also allow CNET ad sales staff to sell into some areas of Yahoo.

This deal is likely to be touted as a big win for CNET’s current management, including CEO Neil Ashe, who has been under siege from a group of dissident shareholders who are unhappy with the company’s lackluster performance and have called for a variety of significant changes.