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Jim Lanzone: Keeping the Eye Focused on the Web

B&C's 2012 Digital All-Stars

A very telling illustration of how
traditional media companies can
successfully play in the new media
landscape can be found at CBS Interactive.
CBSi runs branded sites such as, and, as well
as popular digital properties
including CNET,
GameSpot and,
that now attract more
than 400 million users
around the world each

CBSi’s size as a profitable
top-10 Internet
property, and its global
reach (which includes
the No. 1 tech, fashion
and auto sites in China),
would easily elevate the
division’s president, Jim Lanzone, to a top
spot on any roster of global digital prominence.
But Lanzone has also been making
some additional power moves of his own.

Since taking the top job at CBSi in 2011 after
CBS acquired his startup,
Clicker, Lanzone has
overseen the launch of
redesigned Web and
mobile sites for most of
the media giant’s properties
and has accelerated
a push into social
media, mobile and original

In the social media
arena, where
recently launched the
platform CBS Connect,
the results have been
particularly remarkable.
CBS now has more than 167 million Facebook
and Twitter followers; 15%-20% of’s traffic now comes from social media
referrals, which has helped the site maintain
its status as the top TV network website.
“The launch of CBS Connect has been directly
responsible for our online traffic growing
the way it has,” Lanzone says.

CBS’ approach to digital business models
is also notable. While most of the other networks
have moved to TV Everywhere models,
CBS has not made its content available
on Hulu or rushed to cut TV Everywhere
deals with operators.

“We believe very strongly that when it comes
to the advertising side of the business, owning
the content ourselves, hosting it on our own
properties and engaging our consumers directly
[is vital, and is] why our traffic is growing
and [why] there has been so much advertiser
demand,” Lanzone says.