CBS Bets on Broadband With News Site

NEW YORK CBS introduced a revamped CBS News Web site that greatly increases the amount of video available to advertisers.

The new carries 25,000 video clips and will feature fresh news videos throughout the day. CBS Digital, the Viacom network’s Internet arm, will sell 30- and 15-second pre-roll video on the site. Advertisers at launch include Walmart, Ford and Dell.

CBS executives touted the revamped site as a “cable-news bypass,” which will allow CBS News to offer 24 hours of news coverage in an interactive environment. “The American public has moved quickly, with the advent of broadband, to the Internet when they want breaking news,” said Larry Kramer, CBS Digital’s president.

Each page on the site gives prominent placement to the EyeBox, an in-page video player that will include Web-only video, including reports from correspondents as they develop stories. CBS will also post outtakes of interviews that did not make the final TV broadcast, as well as the option for consumers to build their own newscast by choosing from a menu of stories.

“It’s increasingly clear the future of CBS News is not just as practitioners of broadcast journalism but of broadband journalism,” said Andrew Heyward, president of CBS News.

As part of an effort to bring viewers in to the news-gathering process, features “Public Eye,” which CBS says will act as a conduit between the news organization and the public. Though touted as a blog, the Public Eye will mostly feature inside-the-sausage-factory content, showing video of a news meeting or answering questions about news decisions. It is edited by Vaughn Ververs, a former editor of The Hotline, a daily political Web newsletter.

Kramer said the redesign would allow advertisers placements across CBS’s sports, entertainment and news properties. The site also includes a full-page “washover” rich media ad that is shown when users first come to the site.