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July 20, 1998

NBC SHOWS IT IS SERIOUS ABOUT CNET’S SNAP

By CBR Staff Writer

NBC has wasted no time in getting its people through the door at CNet Inc’s Snap! Inc online service, in which it took a 19% stake in June (CI No 3,428). NBC, which is a subsidiary of General Electric Co (but probably not for much longer as GE has confirmed rumors that it is looking to offload the network), has appointed Edmond Sanctis – a senior VP – to be the chief operating office of Snap, a new position, reporting to CNet’s CEO Halsey Minor. Sanctis had previously been involved with the launch of the MSNBC venture with Microsoft Corp and had also started NBC Online Ventures, which as at the time hosted on the Microsoft Network. NBC took the stake with a view to buying up to 60% of Snap. The stake is believed to have cost NBC $6m the other 41% would cost it a further $32m. NBC also took a 5% stake in CNet as part of the deal. Yesterday’s move is taken as a signal that NBC is serious about buying a majority of Snap and possibly taking the unit public. It already has five of its executives on the board of Snap. In addition, NBC will next week begin airing a Snap brand-awareness campaign for six weeks. Others moving to Snap include Shawn Hardin, the VP of NBC Digital Productions, who will become senior VP and creative director at Snap and Bertina Ceccarelli, the VP consumer marketing at NBC who will become VP brand development and research. Sanctis and Hardin will move immediately to San Francisco and the others will follow later.

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