NEW YORK—As part of a strategy to make streaming an even more important part of its operations, CBS News and Stations has revamped and rebranded its streaming news service, announced an expanded slate of new programming and built a new studio to support the service's ambitions.
The expanded investment in streaming comes at a time when the major news organizations are pouring more money into streaming operations, with CNN planning to launch its direct-to- consumer service CNN+ in the next few months.
Among the broadcasters, CBS was a pioneer in streaming news services, launching CBSN in 2014 and becoming the first to launch a streaming local news service in 2018 with CBSN New York.
As part of the revamped streaming efforts, CBSN is now being rebranded as the CBS News Streaming Network, which has both national and local feeds.
On January 24, the company also launched a new streaming news channel in Miami, with another local news channel set to bow later this year in Detroit. That will bring its total local new streaming channels to 14. All of the local news channels are part of the rebranded CBS News Streaming Network.
It is also planning to build on a record 2021 year, when CBS Stations local streams increased 37% from 2020, by ramping up its news content, which totaled about 30,000 hours in 2021.
By the end of 2022, CBS Stations will introduce another 15,000 annual hours of live news programming resulting in 45,000 total hours of live local news and weather coverage, the company said.
As part of the ramped up production slate, the company has also built a new state-of-the-art studio in the CBS Broadcast Center in New York.
The newly completed studio includes 4,000 square feet of space, three pedestal robotic cameras, four main LED walls, four LED columns and numerous display and touchscreen monitors. This will be the base of operations for new and existing programming, the company said.
The studio features Planar TVF Series LED video wall technology in a 1.5 millimeter pixel pitch as well as Planar TVH Series LED video wall technology in a 1.6 millimeter pixel pitch. Video Visions was the AV integrator.
“We’re unlocking the power of CBS News – streaming the best of our reporting and storytelling on television to viewers everywhere,” said Neeraj Khemlani, president and co-head of CBS News and Stations. “From up-to-the-minute reporting from our new live news desk, signature interviews by Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell, adventures on “CBS Sunday Morning” and “60 Minutes,” true crime on “48 HOURS” – and reporting out of Washington to Kyiv to Beijing – we’re delivering a 24/7 experience with quality journalism from the best news brands in the business.”
“CBS News and Stations’ local streaming channels are growing at a rapid pace and will continue this year through the significant expansion of coverage in all of our markets, giving us an additional 15,000 hours of live local news per year by the end of 2022,” said Wendy McMahon president and co-head of CBS News and Stations. “Our commitment reflects the relevance and importance of local news to audiences across the country. We are excited to launch CBS News Miami today and look forward to completing the rollout of our local streaming channels later this year when we debut CBS News Detroit. Unifying our brands and newsgathering resources positions us to deliver the best local-to-national-to global streaming news experience to our consumers however they want to watch.”
George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.
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