CBSi Buys Clicker; Lanzone Replaces Ashe As President

CBS Interactive (NYSE: CBS) is acquiring Clicker, the self-styled “TV Guide” for online video, and is installing Jim Lanzone, Clicker’s co-founder and CEO as its new president, succeeding Neil Ashe. As CEO of CNET Networks, Ashe helped steer the tech media company’s $1.8 billion sale to CBS in June 2008 and became president shortly after.

Updated: Terms of the acquisition weren’t announced, but a source tells paidContent that the deal is worth slightly north of $100 million; that doesn’t mean all the money is being paid out at once. A second source insists that the deal is only worth “tens of millions of dollars.”

In December, Ashe said that he’d be leaving the company as soon as a successor was found. Ashe had spent a total of six years connected CNET. As he told Staci D. Kramer following the announcement of his plans to depart, he wasn’t sure what would be next for him.

Ashe said he and CNET had moved past the integration phase long ago and it’s essentially been an operating job for the past year. “I’m at the end of my original commitment to these guys and I feel really good about where CBS Interactive is,” he said.

In his new role, Lanzone, who was once the CEO of IAC’s, will oversee all of CBS Interactive’s operations worldwide, which in addition to CNET, includes,,, and Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Clicker raised an $11 million round just over a year ago. The company is little more than a year old, though it has raised a total of $19 million, including $11 million last February. Its backers include Benchmark and Redpoint; Slingbox co-founder Blake Krikorian is also an investor and a board director.

In making the acquisition, CBS Interactive highlighted Clicker’s recommendation engine, Clicker Predict, and its social integration with Facebook, which claims that it offers 2.5 million monthly users an “instantly personalized guide to what’s worth watching online.” Clearly, CBS will hope to leverage that to get some more views for its online video, which still remains outside of rival broadcaster-backed Hulu’s system. Release