[CES 2013] CNET Reporter Quits Over CBS Meddling In Reporting

CES 2013 drama has erupted, and a CNET reporter has quit his job in protest after CBS execs interfered with CNET awards at the event.

The CNET reporter who quit over CES is Greg Sandoval, and his Monday tweet announcing his resignation kicked off a fresh round of discussion about ethics in reporting and the role of large corporate masters.

The CNET reporter quit publicly on Twitter, so the CES CNET scandal immediately became a matter of widespread interest.

In a series of tweets sent below, Sandoval explains his decision and the reasons behind it as writers across the web returned to their workstations after a grueling week at CES.

(Given the intense pace during the massive convention, the CNET reporter picked the right time to quit, as Monday was the first full day back for many of us on the scene at the frenzied technology orgy.)

The CES CNET drama was reported upon in-depth by The Verge‘s Joshua Topolsky (via Poynter), who detailed the controversy after it was discovered that the disagreement went deeper than originally thought and presented far more of an ethical conflict for CNET reporters:

“Apparently, executives at CBS learned that the Hopper would win ‘Best of Show’ prior to the announcement. Before the winner was unveiled, CBS Interactive News senior-vice president and General Manager Mark Larkin informed CNET’s staff that the Hopper could not take the top award.”

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“The Hopper would have to be removed from consideration, and the editorial team had to re-vote and pick a new winner from the remaining choices. Sources say that Larkin was distraught while delivering the news — at one point in tears — as he told the team that he had fought CBS executives who had made the decision.”

Topolsky suggests in the post (written before the CNET reporter quit over the controversy) that the story “raises questions not only about CNET’s editorial independence, but concerns over why editors at the site have remained mum on the events surrounding the decision to remove the Hopper as winner [of the ‘Best In Show’ award from CNET at CES]” as well as “suggests a growing influence of CBS’ corporate interests in editorial decisions at its digital news subsidiaries.”

Below are CNET reporter Greg Sandoval’s tweets, through his last tweet on the CES controversy last night.

[Image: Kyle Murphy]