Updated: CBSi’s Lurie Promoted To SVP-Strategic Dev Across CBS; Interview

When Quincy Smith left CBS, former CNET CEO Neil Ashe was the natural successor to head CBS Interactive (NYSE: CBS). Now Zander Lurie, the unit’s EVP & CFO, is being promoted to SVP-strategic development for CBS, filling one of Smith’s other roles as in-house strategist for authentication and other initiatives. The immediate focus on premium video. The official language: Lurie “will serve at the center of CBS’s next-generation content initiatives, including oversight of the Company’s efforts to explore authentication and other new, additive methods of distribution and monetization.”

He will report to CFO Joseph Ianniello, not CEO Leslie Moonves, but Moonves has been a fan of Lurie’s since the 2008 CNET acquisition. Lurie will continue his CBSi roles while a search is being conducted for his successor. What to expect? Lurie talked to paidContent about M&A possibilities, the NCAA deal, staying at CBS and more.

On M&A: CBS spent billions building its interactive group — much of it in large chunk when it acquired CNET — but between integration and market conditions, has slowed down considerably. Will that rev up again? “We’re well positioned to continue to invest and be aggressive in this new world order,” Lurie said. “We