Streaming News Pioneer Christy Tanner to Exit CBS

CBS News
Christy Tanner (Image credit: CBS News)

NEW YORK—Christy Tanner, the executive vice president and general manager of ViacomCBS, CBS News Digital has announced that she will be leaving CBS News. 

Tanner, who joined CBS in 2013, played an important role in building up CBSN, the first 24 streaming news network from one of the major broadcast networks. Tanner and her teams also made the groundbreaking move to localize that service with feeds from the company’s owned stations. 

CBSN emphasized fact based reporting and commissioned 80 documentaries to take deeper dives into important issues, an approach that proved popular. In 2020, CBSN had more than 1 billion streams. 

In a memo to staff announcing Tanner’s departure, George Cheeks, the president and CEO of the CBS Entertainment Group noted that “Christy and her world-class team have established CBS News Digital as the marketplace leader in streaming news innovation, expanding our breaking news, editorial and reporting capabilities while continually setting growth records. I am grateful to Christy for leading my deep dive on CBS News Digital and continuing to make it a crucial part of our overall news offering.”

Cheeks added that “under her transformational leadership, CBSN has consistently dominated the OTT competition – 30% ahead of CNN and 70% ahead of NBC News Now in monthly unique users from September 2020 – April 2021, according to comScore. CBS News Digital delivered triple-digit YOY audience growth in Q4 and Q1, with CBSN surpassing 1 billion streams in 2020. During the past year, CBSN launched globally in 89 countries, and this week launched CBSN Sacramento, the company’s 11th CBSN Local stream in partnership with the CBS Stations team.”

In a note to her teams, Tanner wrote that she had decided to leave ViacomCBS eight years after joining CBS Interactive and five years after joining CBS News Digital. 

“I’m so proud of all that we have accomplished together: We focused on the public’s need for trusted reporting while significantly expanding our editorial coverage,” she wrote. “We delivered groundbreaking digital and streaming products. We consistently drove double- and triple-digit audience and revenue growth, smashing our own records month after month. We are integral to the company’s AVOD and SVOD strategies.”

George Winslow

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.