CNET said it spent $65 million in the second half of 1999 on its first major TV, radio and print brand campaign, almost as much as the $66.7 million it generated in revenues for the six-month period. That heavy spending covers nearly two-thirds of the $100 million the tech site last July said it would spend over 18 months. The spending depressed short-term profits, as CNET posted a pro-forma net loss in the fourth quarter of $29.8 million in the fourth quarter vs. a pro forma profit of $4.4 million a year earlier. Factoring in goodwill, investment gains, equity losses and taxes, CNET posted fourth quarter net income of $356 million; that included a gain of $612 million primarily on the transfer of its stake in consumer portal Snap to NBC Internet. Fourth quarter revenue nearly doubled to $38.3 million from $19.6 million.
Copyright February 2000, Crain Communications Inc.