This post has been updated with comment from Digg CEO Jay Adelson.
Valleywag reported on Wednesday afternoon that a "major media player" was close to plunking down $300 million to $400 million for social news site Digg. Valleywag editor Owen Thomas wrote that "a source rules out all the big Internet players--not Microsoft, not Google, not Yahoo, not News Corp.," and that CBS had "taken itself out of the running."
Thomas went on to speculate that perhaps the buyer for the Kevin Rose-founded Digg would be the New York Times Company or the Washington Post Company. Social news and bookmarking sites have indeed proven to be hotter buys for media companies rather than technology companies, with Conde Nast's acquisition of Reddit a year ago and Forbes' very recent purchase of Clipmarks--the exception is Delicious, which Yahoo bought.
This should be taken with more than a grain of salt--OK, an entire margarita's worth of grains of salt--but here's an interesting tidbit. I was talking to Digg CEO Jay Adelson at Tuesday night's Founders Club party, and he sure didn't say anything that hinted at an acquisition (obviously). But Adelson, who is a New York resident, did say that he wishes the company had a bigger East Coast presence.
Adelson told me in an e-mail on Wednesday afternoon that neither he nor Digg would be commenting on the acquisition rumor. But considering how many "major media players" are based in Gotham, this still could be saying something.