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CNN in Talks to Acquire Mashable, Sources Say
The New York Times | March 12, 2012 | 08:45 AM EDT

CNN, a unit of Time Warner, and Mashable are in advanced talks that may lead to an acquisition of the social news Web site, three people with knowledge of the talks said.

Mashable, which specializes in stories about technology and social media, could bolster CNN.com, which is one of the most popular news Web sites in the United States. An acquisition of Mashable would make a statement about CNN’s interest in startups and social media.

A blogger for Reuters, Felix Salmon, reported on Sunday night that a CNN acquisition of Mashable could be announced on Tuesday. Early Monday morning, officials at CNN denied that an announcement would be made on Tuesday and declined to comment on the potential acquisition; a spokeswoman for Mashable also declined to comment.

The people with knowledge of the talks insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak by their employers. It is possible that the acquisition will not be completed, some of the people cautioned.

Nonetheless, news of the potential acquisition spread rapidly among attendees at South by Southwest, a technology conference here that celebrates the kind of old-and-new-media combination that CNN and Mashable would represent. Both companies have big groups of staffers at the conference and both have been hosting parties, sometimes with other media partners.

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