Impact: Barely a year on the job, Smith — working with boss Leslie Moonves — has helped transform the Eye into one of the leading providers of online video.
While rivals focus on distributing their shows via their own sites (ABC) or a central destination (NBC and Fox’s Hulu), Smith has advocated a syndication model. Via the so-called CBS Audience Network, Smith lets dozens of sites run full-length episodes of CBS shows like “CSI” and “Survivor” in exchange for a cut of the ad revenue those sites generate.
Smith has also been on something of a spending spree. CBS took financial stakes in Joost, Dotspotter and SpotRunner and complete ownership of the online radio service Last.FM, high school sports site MaxPreps and Wall Street blog Wallstrip.
And on the original programming front, online laffer “Clark and Michael” was a major buzz magnet.
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POV: “The formation of the CBS Audience Network has allowed us to turn Innertube into Outertube,” Smith told Daily Variety last year. “You need to go to where the audience is.”