Big Network Honcho, Tiny Screen

Today’s New York Times has a detailed profile of a CBS Mobile executive, Cyriac Roeding, and the difficulties he faces in running the network’s mobile division, at the “vortex of Hollywood’s new media revolution:”

“Consumer attitudes toward viewing videos on the cellphone screen are changing. The debut of the Apple iPhone showed a wider, and older, audience that cellphones can be multimedia devices. And the software behind the Google phone is expected to enable more entertainment programming.”

The difficulties that come into play are numerous. Some examples are the fact that most consumers don’t like the clips that are currently shown on cell phones, forcing Mr. Roeding to “kill his own babies,” as the article put it, and the fact that the wireless carriers really rather control everything and not give the networks much of a say. And then there’s the problem of distributing royalties for the new formats to actors, writers, and studios.

“The difficulty with Cyriac’s job is getting successful but traditional companies to go down a path they wouldn’t otherwise go down,” said Ryan Hughes, vice president for digital media at Verizon Wireless.

Big Executive of the Tiny Screen [NYT]