Farewell to ZDNet (and CNET)

Farewell to ZDNet (and CNET)

Summary: If you were an auditor asked to examine the human resources records of CNET (parent company to ZDNet), you'd discover that even though the company was officially founded in 1992, that there's a handful of employees whose hire dates actually precede that year. My colleague Dan Farber is one of them.

TOPICS: IT Employment, CXO

If you were an auditor asked to examine the human resources records of CNET (parent company to ZDNet), you'd discover that even though the company was officially founded in 1992, that there's a handful of employees whose hire dates actually precede that year. My colleague Dan Farber is one of them. Former MacWeek editor Stephen Howard-Sarin whose name you don't see too often but who oversees multiple CNET properties including ZDNet is another. My hire date -- the day I transitioned from being an IT manager to being a tech journalist -- was July 22, 1991.

With so many mergers and acquisitions going on, many of which involve younger companies buying older ones the way CNET bought ZDNet in October of 2000, such "negative employee badge numbers" are probably not unusual. But for some reason that I can't put my finger on, I've always found a strange surrealism in them. Slowly though, as the years have gone by, these anomolies on CNET's HR books have given way to Father Time who, today, is claiming me as his next victim.

I am moving to CMP where I will be deeply involved with events while at the same time continuing to blog about my second love: technology (the first is my family). As such, this will be my last post on ZDNet.

I've already written and rewritten this farewell notice several times. In an attempt to credit the giants on whose shoulders I've stood during my last 17 years of tech journalism (not to mention the thousands of readers who have helped to shape my opinions on tech), the initial draft of this blog post was never ending. I wiped it out. At first there were 10 people. Then 15. Eventually 30 and then more . I gave up. There simply isn't a way to do everyone the justice they deserve without creating a unreadable tome.

So, I will keep the list very short -- down to the biggest giants who have, in their own way, enabled my success in fuzzy ways that cannot be easily quantified or characterized: my wife and three children (a fourth is on the way). The media business is intensely competitive and journalism is a travel and time intensive career-choice. The phone can ring at any time with the sort of news that the presses as well as breakfast, lunch, dinner or some other outing must be stopped for.

Thanks to this job, I've also been able to travel the world. But it's never easy leaving the house for the airport when your kids are hanging onto both legs saying "Don't go!" or you know your going to miss something important while your gone. So, to A, D, S, and N (it's been my practice to refrain from using their names in this space), thank you for your support from the bottom of my heart.

Finally, it is with incredibly mixed emotions that I am leaving the CNET family of talented and dedicated journalists, editors, staff and readers that I have been with (and who have been with me) for so very long. This company, its managers and my colleagues with whom I've worked have always been incredibly kind and generous to me in ways that are simply impossible to enumerate. To them, I say thank you as well for all that you have done for me, both personally and professionally.

Topics: IT Employment, CXO

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  • Thanks for your good work!

    You've put in some hard time at ZDNet, and I've been reading the blogs for awhile -- it'll be sad to see you go, and I hope someone is out there that can adequately fill your shoes while you move on to bigger and better at CMP.

    Thanks for the memories, and stay in the public eye if you at all can!
  • RE: Farewell to ZDNet (and CNET)

    Hey David - it must have been a very difficult decision but one that you had to make. All the very best in your new position and here's to hoping we'll bump into one another on the circuit at some point in the future.
  • Best Wishes

    Best Wishes. 17 years is a long time. I graduated college in 1991 and it really made me stop and think to realise that it's actually been 17 years. It goes by so quickly it's like another lifetime.
  • RE: Farewell to ZDNet (and CNET)

    David - thanks for your time here. It was certainly enjoyable having your blogs and comments to read about current events in the IT world. Your perspective that all things don't necessarily revolve around MS will be sorely missed.

    Your departure gives me another reason to leave myself. This will probably be my last post even though I will occasionally check out Adrian's column now and then. Other than that, there's not much of interest left here at ZDNet...
  • Best wishes and good luck!

  • RE: Farewell to ZDNet (and CNET)

    You will be missed. If you'd like, we could send a couple of our most, uh, prolific Talkback participants your way, just to make you feel at home in your new digs...

    No? OK, then, bon voyage!
    Ed Bott
  • RE: Farewell to ZDNet (and CNET)

    Best wishes, David.

    See you on my RSS feed, favorites list, and as I suspect, live at several conferences.

    Russ Shaw
  • RE: Farewell to ZDNet (and CNET)


    thanks for all of your efforts at ZDNet over the years, and good luck at

    I look forward to hearing more from you in your new role...

  • We will miss you David

    I hope CMP offers you an outlet for your tech journalism. We need more of you, not less!

    -Richard Stiennon
  • RE: Farewell to ZDNet (and CNET)

    Best of luck at CMP David and keep in touch!

  • Good luck

    I hope you get to spend more time with the family. Jobs (even careers) may come and go, but family is forever.
  • RE: Farewell to ZDNet (and CNET)

    How come this blog post is right down the bottom with all the others that are never read???

    Anyway David, your columns have always been entertaining and informative. Good luck for the future!

  • Best wishes

    It's been a pleasure working with you at ZDNet, and I wish you the best of luck in your new role.
    Ed Burnette
  • RE: Farewell to ZDNet (and CNET)

    Congratulations, David, and best of luck at CMP!
  • Farewell David

    I got introduced to ZD Net a couple of years back, and I still remember - your's was the first blog that I read, that generated interest in the site. Since then I have been an almost daily visitor to the site.

    Though I have not always agreed with you, I love the way you investigate and write your blogs.

    Fare well!
    Arun (sreearun)
  • RE: Farewell to ZDNet (and CNET)

    Many thanks for all the hard work you have put into the articles over the years. I especially liked the video / audio name and shame articles, as well as the various testbed product showcases.

    I hope you succeed in your new venture and look forward to reading your new blog soon.

    Good luck and best wishes!
  • Thanks for the great writing

    I look forward to finding your new blog. My only question when/where will we find you? Your blogspot blog hasn't been updated in a few years.

    Mark Levison
  • RE: Farewell to ZDNet (and CNET)

    Good luck David, I have really enjoyed your work in the past years. You will be missed
  • Sorry to see you go

    Your work was thoughtful, several cuts above some of the obviously biased and "in the pocket of..." B-teamers who pretend to provide accurate information here on ZDnet. This web site has become a portal for propaganda in more cases than I like, but I never noticed that kind of writing from you.
  • RE: Farewell to ZDNet (and CNET)

    I've always enjoyed your cutting edge reviews and promising views of technology to come. Thank you for being such a pioneer in this industry. My best energy goes to you for your future endeavors.