Christy Tanner, a Streaming-News Pioneer, Will Depart CBS

Christy Tanner Variety TV Summit
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Christy Tanner, one of the architects of CBS’ early-to-market CBSN streaming-news outlet, is leaving the company just as more media companies have begun to focus on creating news programming for mobile viewers.

She announced her exit to staffers on Thursday. “It’s been eight years since I joined CBS Interactive, five years since I joined CBS News Digital, and … never years since I took some solid time off,” Tanner wrote. “The fact is I haven’t wanted to miss a minute of the incredible opportunity it has been to work with you — building CBSN into the leading streaming news service, transforming CBS News Digital into a powerhouse and establishing news as a pillar of CBS All Access, Paramount Plus and Pluto.”

Tanner, who joined CBS after working stints for Lionsgate and Washington Post Co., has risen through the ranks to become executive vice president of CBS News Digital, and in recent years had been involved in everything from getting the company’s streaming-news properties distributed through various platforms to determining how best to promote videos and stories across those venues to helping build out a presence on the new streaming hub Paramount Plus.

She leaves after CBS’ news and stations businesses have been combined into a new unit led jointly by two new executives, former Hearts Newspapers executive Neeraj Kemlani and former ABC stations chief Wendy McMahon. The duo has articulated a strategy of gaining more scale by utilizing digital outreach, national and international news and local station operations.

Tanner was instrumental in developing CBSN, an ad-supported streaming outlet that delivers national and local news from CBS News and CBS-owned stations to viewers. Since its launch in 2014, CBSN has transmitted everything from live breaking news to political roundtables, and relied on CBS News personnel like Vladimir Duthiers, Elaine Quijano and Major Garrett to do it. The venue has expanded many times since its inception. CBS on Wednesday launched CBSN Sacramento, which features anchored programming and coverage of live breaking news events in the region produced by KOVR and KMAX. It’s the 11th regional CBSN service to debut.

More traditional TV venues have placed new emphasis on streaming in recent years. NBC News has backed a new feed devoted to its “Today” morning franchise, as well as an MSNBC-affiliated channel, “The Choice,” for its parent’s Peacock streaming hub and a live service, NBC News Now. Fox News Media launched its subscription-based outlet Fox Nation in 2018 and has expanded it into documentaries and true-crime programming. Disney’s ABC News has worked to tie its streaming efforts more closely with its linear programs, naming Linsey Davis, who anchors streaming weeknight coverage to lead the Sunday broadcast of “World News Tonight.” And WarnerMedia’s CNN is expected to unveil a direct-to-consumer offering in weeks to come.