Les Moonves Buys Clicker, a TV Guide for the Internet

By
Lucky Lazone.
Lucky Lazone. Photo: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Clicker is like TV Guide in two ways. First, because it helps you figure out which websites host episodes of your favorite TV shows online. And second, because it's for the kind of people that need to read a magazine to figure out what's on TV. Of course, the Internet is a vast and mysterious place, and it's not impractical to have a guidebook. We've certainly used the service. The main problem is that Clicker, which links only to legitimate, often paying sources, typically directs you to the exact same sites — Hulu, iTunes, Amazon, or the website of the network on which it aired — that you would've checked anyway. There's a social element to it too that lets you discover, share, rate, and discuss shows, but honestly, who cares? None of these drawbacks stopped CBS honcho Les Moonves from running out and buying it, though. Although the move was in part to get Clicker's charming, well-connected CEO, Jim Lazone, who formerly headed quasi-content farm Ask.com, to lead the CBS Interactive division.

ReadWriteWeb's Marshall Kirkpatrick, who calls Clicker "a giant waste of time," tried to be "supportive," but could barely hide his skepticism:

A respected internet leader will now be charged with helping move into a new, unknown and disruptive technology economy a large, century old institution, rich with accumulated history and talent for creating high-production content that speaks to hundreds of millions of people.

In other words, the battle to bring cable networks into the digital age is going to be brutal, and Moonves better hope he chose wisely.

Clicker.com, a Giant Waste of Time, Acquired by CBS [ReadWriteWeb]
CBS Acquires TV Guide For Online Video Clicker, Jim Lanzone Named President Of CBS Interactive [TechCrunch]