Rumor: CNN to Pay $200 Million for Mashable

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Is CNN planning to snap up social news blog Mashable and announce the results this week? That’s the word from The New York Times, whose sources say CNN is in “advanced talks” to pick up the site (CNN is owned by Time Warner, TIME‘s parent company).

The rumor actually started Sunday night, when Reuters blogger Felix Salmon reported that “a little bird” told him CNN was going to buy Mashable for “upwards of $200 million” (that’s Salmon in the video report above).

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Salmon goes on to say he has doubts the acquisition will go through, noting the redundancy in both CNN and Mashable’s profile and generalist coverage style, and that $200 million’s a lot of money to to wing at something unless CNN plans to make it a permanent part of its lineup. I agree, though who wouldn’t, really.

But while the Times says CNN denied it would announce an acquisition on Tuesday, the cable channel declined to comment about the acquisition’s likelihood (Mashable declined requests for confirmation of this as well). That last part means exactly what it sounds like: We’re in the realm of possibility, if only just.

Mashable was founded in July 2005 by then 19-year-old Pete Cashmore from Aberdeen, Scotland. The site presently claims it receive over 50 million page views and 20 million unique visitors monthly. If the CNN/Mashable deal is real and goes through for the rumored amount, it would constitute CNN’s biggest outlay for a company to date.

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