CBS Interactive CEO Jim Lanzone has been promoted to the newly created post of chief digital officer for CBS Corp.
The boost for Lanzone, who will remain CEO of CBS Interactive, recognizes the importance of coordinating digital strategies across various CBS divisions.
“For the past five years, Jim has built a successful business and organization at CBS Interactive, which is now a thriving and profitable operation – and one of our most exciting growth engines as we move to build CBS All Access, CBSN and many other important initiatives in the digital space,” said CBS Corp. chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves. “Now, as our first-ever chief digital officer, Jim will bring that expertise and influence to all of CBS’ businesses by working hand in hand with digital operations across the corporation.”
Lanzone told Variety that having a strong central organization to coordinate digital strategies was key at a time when the industry is moving quickly into the multiplatform age.
“It’s important that we have a strong center to make sure we are embracing the same strategies and approaches across the entire company,” he said.
Lanzone oversees CBS’ streaming initiatives — the SVOD CBS All Access and Showtime services as well as the ad-supported CBSN news service — and will be tasked with exploring the potential of still more new platforms and services.
“We just see so much upside for these businesses,” he said. “Mobile is the fast-growing segment of the online audience from a consumer basis and an audience basis. These are (services) that were built from the ground up to be multiplatform and to work across connected devices.”
Lanzone said the collaboration between the CBS Interactive team and CBS News in the past few years as a prime example of the potential to expand CBS’ traditional businesses. CBSNews.com logged its highest traffic numbers ever in April and May, Lanzone said.
“The teamwork has been incredible. (CBS News president) David Rhodes has a great editorial operation and resources around the world but it was limited in what it could put out every day,” Lanzone said. “Now it’s unshackled. Our teams are working together turning out video and editorial 24 hours a day.”
Lanzone noted that CBS’ digital operations in aggregate consistently land in the top 10 of ComScore’s U.S. Multiplatform Properties rankings. In April CBS Interactive was No. 7 with 142.9 million unique users — a number achieved strictly through content rather than the search, e-commerce or social media functions of other highly rated companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon, he said.
“We are absolutely unique among the top Internet companies,” he said.
Lanzone joined CBS Interactive as president in 2011 and was upped to CEO in 2013. He came to the Eye from Clicker Media Inc. Before that he was CEO of Ask.com.