CBS News merges local apps into network one

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CBS News and Stations has yanked the individual apps it offered in each of its 14 markets in favor of sending users to the main “CBS News”-branded app.

The network confirmed the change to NewscastStudio, noting that it was similar to how it began redirecting visitors entering local domains such as cbsnewyork.com to a directory off the cbsnews.com domain, in this example cbsnews.com/newyork.

That change, which started in February 2022, is a significantly different approach to how owned-stations’ websites are set up.

The change means there is no longer a “CBS News New York” or “CBS News Los Angeles” app, to name two, though it appears the network is still keeping the old ones around for existing users to help ease the transition to the new, singular app approach.

Apps began disappearing for new downloads from both Apple’s App Store and Google Play earlier in May 2024. Users haver reported getting push notifications and other messaging advising them to switch over to the CBS News app. 

While the CBS News app is taking over the role of multiple other ones, the network is still making it easy for local viewers to access the content they want, with sections clearly indicated for each market, while also allowing users to jump to other parts of the country if they’d like.

Users can also customization notifications, including opting into one or more markets’ alerts as well as national ones.

It also ties into the CBS News app’s national, international and other news sections. 

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The change is the latest in a series of moves the network has made over the past several years to merge operations and branding of its news division and local stations.

Although the owned-stations have always had similarities to each other and had to conform to so-called network “mandates,” the were still considered separate divisions until they were combined in 2021.

Another change was rebranding stations under the “CBS News (City or Region Name)” schema, which included both the linear TV stations and regional streamers. Websites were also merged as noted and the owned-stations also rolled out a group graphics package heavily inspired by the network’s “deconstructed eye” look that began appearing in 2020.

In 2022, the network also changed the name of its national news streamer, previously known as CBSN, to simply “CBS News,” though it was often referred to as the “CBS News Streaming Network” to avoid confusion.

Earlier in 2024, CBS rebranded its national streamer to “CBS News 24/7,” though its regional streaming services operated by its local stations are not changing names.

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