Calling the revamping of its CBSNews.com web site an “extreme makeover,” the relatively new president of the relatively new division, CBS Digital Media, Larry Kramer (a true Net Vet as well as founder and former CEO of CBSMarketwatch.com) announced a “seismic change” (new Web attitude) at the old network’s news organization. He said in an online video that new initiatives or “investments” would include podcasts, a blog called “Public Eye” (which will provide feedback and criticism as well as public praise for CBS newscasts), and lots of custom “web-only” video content on an on-going basis.
This new commitment to new content in some ways reflects what other networks are doing with their cable news sister networks. As reported by the New York Times, Kramer calls this a “cable news bypass.” He said in the online video announcement, “On the web, daytime is prime time,” and pointed to larger audience opportunities online than even cable can provide.
We’ll see if they can get traction (build a powerful/viable audience), but Kramer “gets the Web” and should be able to provide the necessary leadership. Certainly, this CBS initiative couldn’t hurt; and it will most probably inspire other news organizations to get more serious (and hopefully more transparent) about the importance of their organization’s web presence. Let’s hope so.