Updated: As we reported last night, CBS News and CBS Digital announced this morning the reinvention of CBSNews.com as an on-demand 24-hour broadband news net. (No shortage of irony in using a completely offline event — no webcast, not even a call-in line — to announce a major broadband play.) It’s meant as a remake of CBS News itself, moving the network from a TV-radio-centric operation to a multi-platform “on-demand news network” with CBS News promising complete integration. Jointly making the announcement with CBS Digital President Larry Kramer, CBS News President Andrew Heyward describes it as a “significant shift … redefining the mission of CBS News and the people who work here to meet the demands of a 24-hour digital universe.”
– Betsy Morgan, who has managed the site since 2001, moves from VP-business development, CBS News to CBS Digital Media as SVP & GM, CBSNews.com. Having someone at that level with full-time responsibility for digital news is a shift.
– Perhaps a little too much emphasis is placed on a yet-to-launch blog — The Public Eye — that will be about CBS News; it’s aimed at transparency. On the other hand, CBS is bringing on a respected outsider to edit the blog: Vaughn Ververs, most recently editor of The Hotline, the National Journal’s political briefing.
– The reconfigured site design we described earlier reflects the changes, particularly the prominent on-page video player. The Eyebox is the entry point to more than 25,000 CBS News clips — and video before it appears on the air. Video continues to be free/ad-supported; it’s encoded for full-screen viewing.
– The online-on-air lines are being blurred, almost erased in some respects. For instance, CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer will host a daily online version.