CBS buys, learns from Wallstrip

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CBS Corp. on Tuesday announced the acquisition of Wallstrip, an online property that syndicates an irreverent daily Web show on finance news.

Ending a week of speculation, Wallstrip creator Howard Lindzon confirmed the partnership Monday on his blog. The site's Tuesday show centered on the partnership with CBS in the program's humorous fashion.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a CBS spokesman said the rumored price of $5 million was not accurate. In his blog post, Lindzon said the site has been supported by $600,000 in funding from "angels and friends."

CBS Interactive president Qunicy Smith said that Wallstrip, which launched six months ago, will continue to be its own entity but will be included in the CBS Interactive Audience Network, the online video initiative that the network announced in March.

Much like CBS' online strategy, Wallstrip is focused on making its content available through a variety of established portals rather than one central site. Wallstrip maintains a main page at Wallstrip.com but also is distributed through Google Inc.'s finance page and YouTube, AOL's Uncut platform, Yahoo Inc.'s podcasts, Veoh, Revver and other portals.

"They are already completely in sync with our syndication strategy," Smith said.

He added that the network was excited about acquiring the site's "DNA" — the technology that it uses to syndicate the show and make it searchable on the Internet — and applying it to existing CBS properties.

"They taught us a lot of what we need to know," Smith said. "They're really good at making their content dynamically searchable."

The network is focused on keeping Wallstrip as an online program, he added, and it will work with the site's writers and producers, Adam Elend and Jeff Marks, to build additional content for the Web and mobile devices.

Lindsay Campbell will stay on as host of the show, and Lindzon will be a consultant for CBS Interactive.
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