VallyWag Writes: CBS is laying people off at CNET - no surprise, since the entire media business is fitfully contracting, and after a merger, cuts are a given. But it signals the end of CNET's grandiose ambitions.
When Halsey Minor, the ultraopinionated entrepreneur better known these days for his lawsuits than his business skills, launched CNET in the early '90s, he first had his eye on television. CNET's first website didn't come along until 1995. And he snapped up domain names like mad, names which all but spelled out his ambitions - TV.com, Radio.com, News.com. (Apocryphally, he's said to have bought the latter from News Corp., in a deal Rupert Murdoch must still regret.)
CNET went public in 1996, and its market cap peaked at $12 billion before the dotcom bubble burst. At one point, it flirted with NBC, going into a joint-venture deal to create NBCi, a now-forgotten Web portal. At the time, some pundits imagined CNET and NBC combining - with CNET on top.