DIGITAL MEDIA MASTERS;HALSEY MINOR;CNET

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Cnet founder Halsey Minor is firmly entrenched in the Internet. But that's only the beginning for this budding media magnate.

Respected Web sites about computing and three cable TV shows running on USA Network and Sci-Fi Channel are mere baby steps for Mr. Minor, who envisions a cable TV network, radio programs and computer guides, as well as a slew of media properties outside the computing world.

"The next year is going to be a very prolific period," said Mr. Minor, who, not surprisingly, counts Ted Turner among the people he admires. His goal is to make CNET (http://www.cnet.com) as synonymous with computing as CNN in news and ESPN in sports.

"The whole brand building process on the Internet is exactly like cable," Mr. Minor said. "We've sort of taken some chapters out of the Viacom/MTV Networks playbook. We're very much a network on the Web."

Already under the CNET umbrella: news.com, a computing news site; shareware.com, for downloadable software; and search.com, an Internet search site.

CNET's focus on computing makes sense, Mr. Minor said, since his wired audience and computer advertisers have been among the first to adopt any new technology.

"I have always been passionate about computers," he said. "I have read since I was 10 years old every single computer magazine every single month."

These days, Mr. Minor is less enamored of magazines.

"In our particular space, which is computing, we think the print publishing business is not going to grow a lot," he said. "We're much more interested in markets that are exploding than in markets that are contracting."

Betcha didn't know: Mr. Minor refused to attend his father's and grandfather's boarding school, Episcopal High School in Washington, D.C., because it didn't have a computer lab. He instead went to Woodbury Forest in Orange, Va., which had a Digital minicomputer.

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