Rumors started flying on Thursday morning that CBS had picked up celebrity gossip site Dotspotter for somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million. Valleywag reported the dirt first, and the strictly-business PaidContent said that industry sources had confirmed it.
Dotspotter has not yet responded to a request for comment.
CBS' interactive division, headed by Valley veteran Quincy Smith, has been acquisition-happy in recent months, snapping up social music site Last.fm and finance video blog Wallstrip. It's not yet clear whether Dotspotter--or CBS' other digital acquisitions, for that matter--will remain standalone or ultimately be integrated into the media company's existing properties.
Dotspotter, it should be noted, isn't a run-of-the-mill celebrity gossip blog. Founded by former Yahoo executive Anthony Soohoo, the slick and mashup-friendly site features Digg-like social news ranking, aggregated videos, and a Google Maps-based chart of celebrity sightings across the country. As PaidContent and Valleywag pointed out, ex-YouTuber and current Facebook chief financial officer Gideon Yu is reportedly an investor.
Celebrity gossip remains one of the Web's hottest niches; AOL's TMZ.com, which now has a primetime TV show tie-in, has been such a notable success for the faltering tech company that people actually believed a bizarre analyst report that the entire company would be restructured so that it was TMZ-centric.
Dotspotter founder Soohoo's former company, Yahoo, has launched its own entry into the field, appropriately titled OMG.