Eye buys into Wrenchead Web site

Web collaboration on TNN development

NEW YORK — Continuing to broaden its online presence, CBS Corp. said Monday it will take a stake in Wrenchead.com Inc. and work with the automotive Web site to develop shows for CBS’ country lifestyle cable channel, TNN.

In exchange for the ownership interest, CBS will provide the site with $33 million worth of advertising and promotion across all its properties — TV, radio and outdoor — for four years.

CBS’ cable division and Wrenchead will explore possible programming targeting automotive enthusiasts. Any initiatives could be announced in early November at the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Assn. trade show.

Part of the picture

Wrenchhead members are able to search and order parts for any make or model of vehicle or link to other automotive-related enterprises. It will soon offer how-to information, car and truck accessories, news and forums.

“TNN attracts a large audience of loyal motor sports fans … who desire detailed, do-it-yourself instruction from TNN,” said the cable net’s president David Hall. He said research shows that more than 23 million viewers of TNN Motorsports programming, which includes Nascar auto racing, maintain and repair their own automobiles.

‘Net interests

CBS’s other Internet investments so far — both closed and pending deals — include stakes in SportsLine USA. MarketWatch.com, StoreRunner Inc., Office.com Inc., ThirdAge Media Inc., Medscape, Switchboard, Rx.com and Hollywood.com. Many on Wall Street expect CBS to spin off its Internet business as a separate publicly traded company next year.

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