Lots of interesting moves are coming out of SXSW, this year. First, Google's Vic Gundotra explained that developers may not be able to look forward to an API for Google+, this year. Then, Instagram's Kevin Systrom confirmed that an Android version of the photo sharing application is coming soon. Now, a rumour is flying around that CNN, the news giant is planning on acquiring tech blog, Mashable, for upwards of $200 million. According to Reuters blogger, Felix Salmon, CNN is planning on announcing the acquisition on Tuesday. The news giant, of course, has to make sure that this acquisition will result in long term benefits. Mashable has 20 million users visiting the website each month with 50 million pageviews each month, but the question of can this addition of new media (Mashable) to old media (CNN) work out, lingers.
CNN at SXSW
Back in 2010, Internet firm, AOL made a similar merger with tech blog, TechCrunch. AOL also merged with Huffington Post, which led to some struggles with executives. When the deal with TechCrunch went through, TechCrunch exec and founder, Michael Arrington was still supposed to stay on for three more years, but disputes led him to leave before his time was up. Arrington wrote in a blog post, “TechCrunch continued to get so much attention that, I later understood, it chafed Arianna Huffington. Even though TechCrunch reported to her, in her eyes any attention TechCrunch got was just less attention for her. This became a turf war between me and Arianna Huffington, although I had no idea that there was a war going on until I’d lost it. Arianna made her classic political power move by publicly terminating me without approval or knowledge from Aol, and despite the fact that she’d already approved the CrunchFund announcement. My counter was to just blow the whole situation up and create chaos.” Arrington was later terminated from TechCrunch.
CNN wants to make sure this sort of bitterness does not happen with their acquisition. Currently, the mood remains optimistic, but time will tell how the mood will shift. For now, the acquisition will at least help CNN's presence at SXSW where they only have their usual restaurant set up for the event (the CNN Grill).