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CBSN Gets a Rebranding and Rethinking

CBS News compilation
CBS News is rebranding its streaming offerings. (Image credit: CBS)

CBS News and Stations has rebranded streaming service CBSN and has “reimagined” the direct-to-consumer platform as well, the group said. Now called CBS News Streaming Network, it launches from a new studio in New York, and offers new programming. 

The rebrand represents the latest move from CBS News and Stations to bolster the partnership between the network news division and the owned station group. 

CBS News and Stations also launched the CBS News Miami streaming channel January 24, representing WFOR Miami, the 13th station in the group to debut what had been known as CBSN Local. The station streaming sites are now named CBS News and the name of the market. 

CBS News Streaming Network delivers live national streams, the 13 local streams and content from programs such as 60 Minutes, CBS Evening News and Face the Nation, and new programs too. 

Neeraj Khemlani and Wendy McMahon were named presidents and co-heads of CBS News and Stations in April.   

“We’re unlocking the power of CBS News — streaming the best of our reporting and storytelling on television to viewers everywhere,” Khemlani said. “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 Ukraine to Beijing — we’re delivering a 24/7 experience with quality journalism from the best news brands in the business.”

The national and local streaming channels representing CBS News and Stations delivered more than 1 billion streams in 2021. CBS Stations local streams increased 37% from 2020, CBS said.  

“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,” McMahon said. “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.”

McMahon told B+C the CBSN rebrand was on the minds of her and Khemlani since both took over in April. “We recognized that we have these resources to be able to create a new product and a new experience, and this has been on our road maps since day one,” she said. 

The game plan involved delivering a “premium experience” to users, she said, and “to position ourselves for the business of tomorrow.”

Streaming anchors include Vladimir Duthiers, Anne-Marie Green, Tanya Rivero, Lana Zak and  Elaine Quijano. They will be joined by Tony Dokoupil of CBS Mornings, Michelle Miller, Jeff Glor and Dana Jacobson of CBS Saturday Morning and Jericka Duncan of CBS Weekend News, among other talent. 

Daytime programming on the streaming network includes new shows Here Comes the Sun with Tracy Smith and Lee Cowan, Dokoupil-hosted The Uplift, featuring motivational stories, and the Norah O’Donnell interview show Person-to-Person. Gayle King hosts CBS Reports, featuring documentaries and special reports, starting February 25. 

The evening lineup starts at 6 p.m. with nightly politics program Red and Blue. A news hour happens at 7 p.m. and 8 to 10 p.m. offers content from CBS News programs such as 60 Minutes, and the new programs

CBS News Detroit launches later this year. WWJ Detroit plans to launch local newscasts in late summer or early fall. ■

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.