WHY ZD IS TAKING STOCK OF ZDNET

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Ziff-Davis has annual sales and a stock market worth of more than $1 billion. CNET late last week had a market cap of $650 million and annualized revenue trending at about one-10th of that. Investors have anointed CNET (www.cnet.com) as a trendy Web media play, while ZD carries the baggage of being heavily reliant on stodgy old print and trade shows. So who's the biggest tech Web media outfit? ZD, based on revenue -- at least last quarter. CNET Online quarterly revs increased 69% to $11.2 million, generating operating profits of $1.4 million. ZDNet (www.zdnet.com), meanwhile, broke even on revenue of $12.9 million, up 53% from last year. "Clearly, our stock price at the moment is not reflecting the value in that asset," says CFO Tim O'Brien. What to do? "We're examining a number of options," he says. One being mulled: doing an offering to set up ZDNet as its own stock.

Born to be wild? Beemers at MNH

Merkley Newman Harty/NY knows the target audience for BMW motorcycles -- it's the MNH account crew, which has been riding Beemer bikes for decades. "That's why they hired me," quips Laurence Kuykendall, who raced a 1972 Beemer bike as a teen and joined the shop last March as account mgr. To break the ice with its new client, MNH presented '70s-era pix of media dir. Skip Pollard, client services chief Steve Bowen, CD Dave Corr and Kuykendall on their old bikes. "All of us who work on this account understand motorcycles," Kuykendall says.

For the record, Dick knows Jack

Dick Sittig's Kowloon Wholesale Seafood Co. in Santa Monica won two Cannes Lions for its Jack in the Box spots. This no doubt comes as news to Dun & Bradstreet, which lists Kowloon as a, well, wholesale seafood purveyor. There are rumors Kowloon may change its name; man. dir. Patrick Adams says no way, the fishy name stays. Adams does say the agency for the first time is on the prowl for new biz. The shop had agreed to devote all resources to Jack for one year, but that period has ended.

Manson in ad . . .breast of show

Goldberg Moser O'Neill/SF has wrapped spots for Ameristar casinos that Fred Goldberg says are "outrageous." For one spot, GMO's waiting for legal clearance and permission to include Charles Manson. Goldberg, meanwhile, has another one for his reel: the $1 million Monterey Bay Aquarium biz, in which the agency beat TBWA Chiat/Day, Citron Haligman and Butler Shine. . . . Competitive Media Reporting is striking a deal with Adscope to repackage the tech print tracker's reports with CMR's, probably starting next year. For the first time, says Adscope prez Sheila Craven, tech advertisers will be able to go to one source to get comprehensive data on spending ranging from computer mags to TV to outdoor. . . . Maxim, the mag of beer and babes, ran an article on a guy who had breast implants installed to win a $10,000 bet. After the bet, he decided to keep them in. Fox Searchlight has bought the article and gent's story to make a movie.

Compiled by Bradley Johnson with news from Mercedes M. Cardona, Alice Z. Cuneo, Jean Halliday, Ann Marie Kerwin, Laura Petrecca, Chuck Ross and Anthony Vagnoni.

Got an Adage? Tell Brad by phone, (323) 651-3710, ext. 111; fax, (323) 655-8157; or e-mail, brad@crain.com.

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