A little bird at SXSW tells Felix Salmon: CNN will buy Mashable for more than $200 M.

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Felix Salmon at SXSW. ()
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If you were one of many media-watchers who scrubbed tweets and links about the media festival SXSW Interactive this weekend, you might have missed a piece of actual news.

Reuters' Felix Salmon filed a video report (sourced to "a little bird") that CNN is going to announce a more-than-$200-million acquisition of social media news website Mashable.

"It's entirely plausible," he said. "[Mashable's] not aimed at the tech insiders it's aimed at the masses. ... These kinds of acquisitions don't always work out very well, and for that kind of money, you want to make sure you're buying a permanent franchise which is really going to help you out."

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You can watch the video of his scoop below:

The New York Times' Brian Stelter, rubbing elbows with Salmon and others on the beat at the festival in Austin, Tex. at the moment, followed with a more firmly sourced 4 a.m. report that CNN and Mashable "are in advanced talks."

The news was received with interest back in New York, where it was quickly spread around on media blogs and Twitter. Of course, the talks could still break down, Stelter's sources cautioned.

And even if they don't, Salmon added skeptically: "I'm sure everyone's going to be really happy and optimistic when it gets announced, and then we'll see whether that works a couple years later."

In other news...

Also out of SXSW: Introducing "The Council on Ethical Blogging and Aggregation." [The New York Times]

And Nick Denton says Gawker is launching a new commenting model. [Adweek / AllThingsD]

Carlos Slim is financing an internet television network that will feature Larry King. [Media Decoder]

The New York Times' paid online model could eventually mean $100 million annually in circulation revenues. [Crain's]

Executive editor Jill Abramson has been "obsessing" over how to make sure young female editors at the paper "get known." [Bloomberg]

Watch Howard Kurtz grills the Game Change guys over the accuracy of their film. [The Huffington Post]

Marie Colvin's funeral is today. [A.P.]