Tech

CNET writer resigns, alleging CBS editorial interference in Dish Network product review

CNET Senior Writer Gregg Sandoval publicly resigned from the technology website on Monday, alleging editorial interference from CNET’s parent company, CBS.

CBS reportedly prohibited CNET from publishing a glowing review of Dish’s Network Corp.’s “Hopper with Sling” — a product that allows users to watch live and recorded television anywhere, and to skip television commercials.

Dish had presented the product at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, and CNET initially announced that it planned to award Dish with the “Best of CES” award.

But when the awards were actually revealed, the Hopper review was absent from the list.

Instead, readers were greeted with “a note that said the site was forced to remove the product from consideration due to the lawsuit,” reported PC Mag. CBS and a number of other media companies are involved in a lawsuit with Dish over the Hopper, alleging that its commercial-skipping feature violates copyright law.

CNET said that it would not be reviewing Dish products until the lawsuit was resolved.

On Monday, Sandoval told readers that he had resigned because of that event.

 

 

 

In response, CBS issued a statement praising CNET and explaining its reasoning for excluding the Hopper from its award list.

“CBS has nothing but the highest regard for the editors and writers at CNET, and has managed that business with respect as part of its CBS Interactive division since it was acquired in 2008,” CBS said in a statement.

“This has been an isolated and unique incident in which a product that has been challenged as illegal, was removed from consideration for an award. … The product in question is not only the subject of a lawsuit between Dish and CBS, but between Dish and nearly every other major media company as well. … CNET maintains 100% editorial independence, and always will.”

Follow Josh on Twitter