News Briefing for Thursday, May 15, 2008 CBS Corp. is buying CNET Networks for $1.8 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports. CNET Networks’ Web sites, which include CNET, Chow, Gamespot, MP3.com, TV.com, UrbanBaby and ZDNet, will be “combined with CBS’ news and sports sites as well as CBS Radio and CBS Television Stations’ digital media platforms,” the Journal says. The CBS purchase short-circuits a public battle among CNET investors for control of the board of directors. [Wall Street Journal]

Comcast has completed the acquisition of Silicon Valley-based Plaxo, developer of a networked address book service and of the “Pulse” social network. A posting on Plaxo’s blog says Plaxo and Comcast are working together on “socially enabling” Comcast’s portal and its Fancast and Fandango properties. Plaxo is also developing a universal address book for Comcast’s upcoming SmartZone communications center and is hosting all of the address book accounts for Comcast’s webmail users.

The profit motive heals old wounds once again. EchoStar Technologies, sister company to old cable rival Dish Network, will demonstrate its CableLabs-certified SlingModem for cable operators at the Cable Show in New Orleans next week, Cable Digital News reports. "Cable and Dish have butted heads a bit over time…[but] the barricades have come down," Michael Hawkey, EchoStar Technologies’ VP of sales and marketing, told CDN. [Cable Digital News]

Comcast Media Center and partners TVWorks and Vidiom are introducing a centralized interactive TV platform for small and midsize cable operators. [Cable Digital News]

This fall Turner Entertainment Networks will begin using its “TV in Context” system, which matches advertising spots with scenes in content owned by Turner, the company announced at its upfront yesterday. When movies shown on Turner’s cable networks, including TBS, TNT and TruTV, break for commercials, some spots will be linked thematically to the movie scene that immediately preceded them. [New York Times]

The rollout of FiOS TV and U-verse TV is slowing down DSL subscriber additions for Verizon and AT&T, according to Information Gatekeepers’ latest High Speed Access Report. [Information Gatekeepers]

AT&T’s U-verse TV has committed to being a participant in the Energy Star energy-conservation program for video providers. Wednesday’s Top Stories

Don’t forget to enter our MSO of the Year and Independent Operator of the Year contests.

What are the best companies to work for in the cable industry? Help CableFAX: The Magazine decide by nominating the companies you think should be on our list of the Top 10 Places to Work in Cable by completing our online nomination form.  We will run the Top 10 Places to Work as a Web exclusive on Cable360.net and on CableFAX: The Magazine’s home page.

Got a tip? Contact sgoldstein@accessintel.com and sarenstein@accessintel.com.

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Verizon, Empire Access Top PCMag Speed Index

For the ninth time, Verizon Fios ranked as PCMag’s fastest major ISP. The accolade came even though Fios’ score on the PCMag Speed Index has been decreasing. It averaged 169.8Mbps this year, down from

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