Ezra Kucharz, president of CBS Local Digital Media, outlines the group's new initiative that, starting next month, will offer a local “answers platform” featuring recommendations for restaurants and service providers as well as teaming with businesses to offer deals to consumers.
CBS Stations Expand Their Local Online Push
CBS has been remaking its online presence with initiatives that build on the television company’s presence in traditional media, a footprint including 29 television stations, 36 radio stations and numerous digital operations.
Through those intertwined operations, CBS’s television and online radio programming reach at least 80% of people in their markets with both offerings every day, according to Ezra Kucharz, president of CBS Local Digital Media.
“The more ways people can ingest our broadcasts, the happier we are,” Kucharz said during his keynote address to attendees at the Interactive Local Media 10 conference in Santa Clara, California on Tuesday.
However, there’s a downside to so many choices. “The problem is that consumers are getting overwhelmed by fragmentation,” Kucharz explained. With so many new and unfamiliar online-only sites selling merchandise and offering news, “consumers are trying to decide, ‘is this somebody I trust to give my credit card number to, or to actually give me information?’ ” he said.
CBS is responding by starting local initiatives. Beginning in January, all of the company’s websites will offer a local “answers platform” featuring recommendations for restaurants and service providers.
That will meet consumers’ need for “great content and information, business listings, local deals and answers,” Kucharz said.
CBS is also aiming to help small to medium-size companies use traditional as well as digital media to bring in more customers through its online CBS Local.com offering launched four months ago. Existing and new advertisers are participating.
Through the offering that outlines local deals, customers learn “what a local business can do for them, as opposed to just having a link in a directory,” Kucharz said.
“Links in directories don’t necessarily bring consumers into stores. What you have to do is convince consumers that this brand or this local business will help them.”