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CNET WRITER QUITS OVER CBS INTERFERENCE

January 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Veteran technology writer Greg Sandoval has quit the CBS-owned technology website CNET following reports that CNET was prevented from presenting an award to DISH network at the Consumer Electronics Show for its Hopper technology. CBS is suing DISH over the technology, which, it claims, encourages copyright theft. In a statement, Sandoval, who previously worked for the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, said that as a result of the CBS interference with the award, he no longer had confidence “that CBS is committed to editorial independence.” When it announced its awards last week CNET acknowledged that it had removed the Hopper from consideration “due to active litigation involving our parent company, CBS Corp.” and said it would no longer review any products that are tied up in lawsuits with CBS. Another website, TheVerge.com, citing unnamed sources, reported on Monday that when CBS learned that the Hopper had been chosen as CNET’s Best of Show award winner, it “ordered another vote with the Hopper taken out of contention.” In a tweet, Sandoval said that he did not want to be regarded as disgruntled. “CBS and CNET were great to me. I just want to be known as an honest reporter.” CBS later issued a statement calling its decision to intervene in the award presentation “an isolated and unique incident” and that “in terms of covering actual news, CNET maintains 100 percent editorial independence.” However, the website ArsTechnica.com pointed out that CNET’s statement that it will no longer review DVRs tied up in lawsuits with CBS implies that “it also will not take those products into consideration when reviewing other DVRs. It effectively colors all DVR coverage at CNET.”