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CNET Networks takeover sought

Ross Miller

Media company CNET Networks, whose various websites including Gamespot, GameFAQs and Metacritic, looks to be in the midst of a takeover. A group of investors, led by Jana Partners LLC and claiming a collective 21.3 percent stake in the company, are currently trying to use their leverage to nominate seven new directors, according to Bloomberg. (Note: This incident is unrelated to the recent Gerstmann-gate fiasco.)

Said former Ask Jeeves Inc. executive Paul Gardi, who stands to be one of those new directors, "With better board oversight, the right team could do great things with this brand ... We see huge opportunity in the strength of CNET's content." The contention is that the media company's shares have underperformed due to mismanagement of their resources.

CNET CEO Neil Ashe said that the company welcomes suggestions from its stockholders but noted Jana's proposed shuffle was "improper" and not possible with the company bylaws. The latter argument prompted Jana to file a lawsuit in Delaware (home of CNET) claiming the bylaws were illegal in the state.

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