Red Ventures, a private-equity owned digital media company based in suburban Charlotte, is buying CNET Media Group, the owner of TVGuide.com and other media properties, from ViacomCBS for $500 million.
The CNET sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020. CNET Media Group has 980 employees brands including the flagship CNET consumer-tech site, GameSpot, the Metacritic reviews-aggregation site, Chowhound, Roadshow, and B2B tech site ZDNet.
CBS bought CNET Networks in 2008 for $1.8 billion. CNET launched in 1994, at the start of the internet boom. The main site covers technology, science and culture.
CEO Ric Elias, a Puerto Rico native who has a Harvard MBA, co-founded Red Ventures in 2000 in Charlotte. It initially grew by providing customer service support and telephone marketing for corporations, but it has branched aggressively into media in recent years. It now has 3,000 employees in the U.S., the U.K. and Brazil. The Fort Mill, S.C.-based company operates digital brands including Bankrate, the Points Guy, Healthline, and Allconnect.com.
Red Ventures investors include PE giants Silver Lake of Menlo Park, Calif., and New York-based General Atlantic.