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CBS Digital, CBS News Have Big Plans; Announcement Tomorrow

Updated: read below: cbsnews.gif
[Staci D. Kramer] CBS Digital President Larry Kramer and CBS News President Andrew Heyward hope to make some news of their own Tuesday morning at a press conference in New York at CBS Studio 19. It’s all very hush-hush — it will include broadband and blogging components — but for a road map take a look at Kramer’s recent comments during a conference at The Media Center, where he said “the web is going to be our cable news network.” But don’t expect a streaming, linear broadband news net. Look for a 24-7 news cycle and lots of interactivity. As Kramer (no relation, unfortunately) described it at the Media Center, “a continuum of coverage throughout the day. You’ll have a menu of video, a continuous stream of video that you can pick and choose from.” Also, look for an online version of “60 Minutes” and viewer/user outreach efforts including the involvement of bloggers. Transparency is another buzz word likely to pop up. More than any of the broadcast news ops, CBS News has been a lightening rod for those who dislike former anchor Dan Rather and see any error in journalism ads a conspiracy. The kind of transparency Kramer has mentioned — running full interviews only excerpted on air, opening the internal editorial process, doing interviews or chats with staffers — could demystify a lot of the news gathering process and offer less of a target.

I wrote back in late June when those comments were made that “if only half of what he’s talking about happens, it would be one of the most ambitious digital remakes of a mainstream news organization.” Still stands.
More as warranted; details Tuesday after the press conference.
Update: Some shifts are visible on the site: a large video window and bolder images; prominent top-line billing for RSS and the new podcast lineup (seven podcasts are up now); a hefty promo box for CBS; what looks like more emphasis on web-only coverage; new ad formats. It’s very similar to the previous look in many respects and yet it’s more vivid and cleaner.

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