Betsy Morgan: A Move With “Points Of View” And “Perspective”

By Gail Shister 

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Gail Shister
TVNewser Columnist

Free at last, free at last…

After two years as broadband boss for a mature, mainstream news organization, Betsy Morgan is hot to saddle up the blogging buckaroo that is The Huffington Post.

“Everything the Huffington Post does is next generation of news,” says just-named CEO Morgan, formerly general manager of “The actual news story is just the beginning.”

Morgan says she couldn’t resist HuffPost’s combination of up-to-the-nanosecond technology, colorful (leftie) commentators and interactive “sense of community.”

Not to mention a piece of the action in an outfit “with great upside potential,” says Morgan, 38, a Harvard MBA fluent in Management-speak.

HuffPost, launched in May 2005 by Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Lerer, “has the great luxury of being separate and apart from mainstream brands,” Morgan says.

To Morgan, that means it’s based “on points of view and the ability of people to have perspectives.” CBS News “doesn’t take a position or put a stake in the ground the same way as a blog.”

No surprise there. In technology alone, mainstream media is just catching up to sites such as HuffPost, she says.

Morgan plans to begin her new gig “over the next couple of weeks,” she says. “I want to make a smooth transition from my team at CBS. I’ve been there 10 years.”

Leaving won’t be easy, but Morgan says her colleagues have been supportive — including CBS News and Sports chief Sean McManus and network czar Leslie Moonves, “who knows Arianna well,” according to Morgan.

For Morgan, bringing up baby has more potential than caring for an aging, albeit beloved parent.

“CBS News is a fantastic established brand with a tremendous history,” Morgan says. HuffPost “is re-inventing its identity every day. I was brought in to build on that.”