CBS unveils rebranded streaming news network, updated programming slate and new look
The streaming news platform of CBS News has launched a complete overhaul as part of an ongoing network rebranding and reorganization effort aimed at unifying national, local and digital newsgathering.
Replacing the CBSN moniker on Jan. 24, 2022, the newly launched CBS News Streaming Network includes an expanded slate of original programming that ties into CBS segments and brands along with originating from a newly revamped, dedicated 4,000 square foot studio inside the CBS Broadcast Center.
“We’re unlocking the power of CBS News – streaming the best of our reporting and storytelling on television to viewers everywhere,” said Neeraj Khemlani, who serves as the co-president of CBS News and Stations with Wendy McMahon.
“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 McMahon.
CBSN originally launched in 2014 as a direct-to-consumer offering and has expanded to more than 30 platforms, averaging 84.7 million streams per month in 2021.
Studio 57, which originally launched as the home for “CBS This Morning” in 2012, has been overhauled following the move of the show (which also changed its name) to Times Square to serve as the streaming network’s home. Four LED video walls and four LED columns bring the latest in display technology to the space which also includes a new header piece and lighter wood tones.
The studio upgraded was headed by Ross Dagan, EVP of news operations and transformation for CBS News, and Rick Jefferson, SVP of CBS News operations, and their team with Jack Morton Worldwide providing the design. The set was fabricated by Showman Fabricators with lighting design by Lonni Juli with LED display technology from Planar, installed and integrated by Video Visions.
Along with the studio, the launch of CBS News Streaming Network also includes new theme music and motion graphics.
While the name “CBS News Streaming Network” is sometimes used to differentiate between the service and the news division, the service almost exclusively uses simply “CBS News” on its stream.
CBS local streams
At the CBS-owned stations, the local streams have also been rebranded to replace CBSN with CBS News.
CBSN Chicago, for example, is now CBS News Chicago, with this branding shared with the station’s typical on-air identification, such as CBS 2.
CBS News notes the local streaming channels have delivered more than 1 billion streams for the second year in a row with a 37% increase over 2020.
The 12 existing local streams are joined by CBS News Miami, which launches alongside the larger CBS News Streaming Network changes, becoming the thirteenth local stream.
“Our commitment reflects the relevance and importance of local news to audiences across the country,” said McMahon. “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,”
CBS News Detroit will complete the local rollout later this year as part of a larger news department expansion for CBS 62, WWJ.
The revised CBS News Streaming Network programming will include more sharing from across the CBS News ecosystem including Tony Dokoupil of “CBS Mornings” and a variety of familiar segments.
The morning news on the service will now be branded as “CBS News Mornings” (not to be confused with simply “CBS Mornings” on the broadcast network) with a primetime news hour coming to 7 p.m. that utilizes multiple CBS bureaus including New York, Washington and Los Angeles.
Dokoupil will anchor “The Uplift,” a new weekly series aimed at inspiring and motivating viewers through uplifting stories.
The “CBS Sunday Morning” brand will be extended to weekdays again – following the launch of “CBS Mornings” – via “Here Comes the Sun,” which will feature original reporting from the program with Tracy Smith and Lee Cowan.
Other original programming for the streaming network includes “Eye on America” with Michelle Miller, “On the Road” with Steve Hartman and “Climate Watch” with Ben Tracy.
CBS News notes the changes will allow them to better leverage the resources and talent of the network across all platforms while also providing topical, locally relevant coverage.