CBS announces move toward 24-hour online video news

Division aims to take on rivals ABC, NBC

July 13, 2005|By David Zurawik

CBS News, which unlike NBC has never been able to find a home on cable TV, is going broadband with a 24-hour digital online news network, CBS News President Andrew Heyward announced yesterday.

The move is the first step in taking CBS News from a traditional television and radio network news division to a video-on-demand news service providing information online for viewers when they want it. The new approach, which will also include a blog called "Public Eye," can only improve the network's fortunes, as CBS News trails NBC and ABC in virtually all audience categories.

"This marks a significant shift for CBS News," Heyward said. "We are redefining the mission of CBS News and the people who work here to meet the demands of a 24-hour digital universe. ... Beginning today, we are transforming our 24-hour news-gathering capability into a true on-demand news service on the Internet."

CBS is not breaking new ground with the service it calls CBSNews.com. ABC has been there for more than a year with ABC News Now. Last summer, ABC also offered the 24-hour, on-demand digital news stream as a cable TV channel to provide full coverage of the national political conventions and presidential election.

"This major expansion of CBSNews.com is designed to capture an audience that is increasingly looking for news and information at all times of the day, not just during scheduled periods - and using the Internet for that purpose," said Larry Kramer, president of CBS Digital Media.

- David Zurawik

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