CBSNews.com Has New Website, Next Effort is Growth

By on 06/18/2009 3:35 PM @beet_tv

Earlier week, CBS News introduced a completely redesigned website with more videos featured and integrated into text reporting. 

In addition to the site redesign, the network is adding more web-video only programs, including the daily Washington Unplugged (clip below) and the new Crimesider spin-off of 48 Hours.

On Tuesday, I went over to the CBS Broadcast Center to speak with Mark Larkin, Vice President of Programming and Operations, CBSNews.com.

Mark says now that the redesign is complete, the company's focus is on growth. A transcript of the interview is below.

Rafat Ali writes in paidContent this week about the redesign, saying that the network has a lot of catching up with its competitive set.

Watch CBS Videos Online

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer

Disclaimer:  CBS Interactive is a client of Plesser Holland public relations.

Video Transcript

Mark Larkin:  Video, you know is, it's really an integral part of what we do obviously at CBS, and we wanted to make sure that it was an integral part of the site experience as well. So we took great pains to make sure that we were incorporating video throughout the entire experience, really leaning on video and images as a part of the overall news experience for the site itself, but also threading it through the story pages and the blog pages and that the pages and the doors that are designed to represent the shows that are on broadcast. And in addition to that we launched a, more of a video destination, so if you are a consumer of online video you can go to the video side at CBSnews.com, and you can watch a number of videos in a playlist form, you can drill down into the different shows that you might be a fan of, or look for specific clips through search. And really kind of immerse yourself in the video experience on CBSnews.com.

So CBSnews.com if you start at homepage you can tell if you were a fan of the site before or a visitor of the site before. It is dramatically different and it's color palette, it's got a carousel on the left hand side, we've eliminated left-hand navigation. It still has its story stack in the middle there, but as you scroll down you can see that we have, we've incorporated photo galleries and video sections and then all, all the different verticals that we cover, be they health or politics, US, world, etc. etc. on that front page.

We also have incorporated a Twitter feed on the front page that's pulling in all the different CBS news properties' Tweets throughout the day. That's dynamic and continues to update throughout the day so that we're really happy about that. But we're more than just CBSnews.com, we're also a reflection of the shows that are on the broadcast so as you see through the top navigation we have the Evening News and we have the Early Show and we have 48 Hours and 60 Minutes, Sunday Morning, and Up to the Minute, and each of these different destinations has, reflects that show's unique personality and, and the heartbeat of that show. So, we wanted to make sure that each of those doors were a reflection what made that show special to its audience both on television and online.

And then in addition to all of that we've, we have, we've developed and launched the video destination which were really happy about. This is a big player, there's no mistaking when you comes to video destination what you're there to do–you're there to watch video. It's got a playlist of content that's over on the right-hand side, but then you can drill down by either category by clicking on any of the big images there, or to the shows, or different categories through the left-hand nav on the video page.

Andy Plesser:  How does the redesign work strategically for your business?

Mark Larkin: Well I think, again, a big part of the redesign was putting an emphasis on original content, on video, and on images, and you know you know clearly being from CNET we have optimized this site for SEO in an attempt to kind of leverage that as a traffic growth mechanism or tool and we'll continue to look into partnership opportunities for ourselves to to grow relationships but I think really, it rests on the original content, the content that comes out of the great broadcasts that we do and the relationship that the site has with the broadcasts and the original content that we're producing at .com itself. You know, clearly we have some room to grow and some room to go. And the first half of this year was really about redesigning the site, the second half of the year is really going to be about growing the audience.

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