CBS Launches RIOT

NEW YORK CBS has launched a new cross-platform sales unit that combines its radio, Internet, outdoor and television properties.

Called CBS RIOT, the unit will combine the assets of CBS Radio’s 147 stations, all of the company’s local Web sites, CBS Outdoor’s billboards and 39 CBS-owned-and-operated TV stations.

The new unit does not include CBS television network, but tying in network buys to RIOT packages would be simple to accomplish.

Richard Lobel, evp, Altitude Group, CBS Radio, will run RIOT, along with Jon Camera, svp, business development, CBS Television Stations, and Brigg Hyland, svp, business development, CBS Outdoor.

In launching the new unit, CBS also announced its first multi-million-dollar promotional deal across all the platforms with Dodge Ram.

Targeting male consumers, the campaign, scheduled to begin Feb. 14, will include customized spots on local TV and radio outlets in more than 100 markets, as well as a co-branded Web site on CBS, where visitors can play an interactive game. The TV spots feature Janelle Pierzina from the CBS reality show Big Brother and former heavyweight boxing champ Joe Frazier. The deal also includes late-night sports programming on the CBS TV network.

Up until January 2006, Viacom Plus handled cross-platform sales across all Viacom broadcast, cable and other media units, under the direction of Lisa McCarthy. When Viacom split into two separate companies at that time, McCarthy moved over to the Viacom properties side, and the CBS units were placed under the supervision of JoAnn Ross, CBS television sales president. This new unit will make it easier for advertisers to put local packages together across all CBS properties.