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CBS News Boss Touts Web Growth

Calling it “an essential component of CBS News’ future,” CBS News & Sports president Sean McManus sent an email to his entire staff today to show just how important the web is to the Tiffany network’s news division.

In the email, obtained by WebNewser, McManus touted the growth of CBSNews.com (+120% year-over-year) as well as features which stem from the broadcast side, including the @katiecouric web show, Bob Schieffer‘s Washington Unplugged and the Crimesider blog, from the 48 Hours team.

The recent growth of CBSNews.com has helped our Web footprint grow overall, both in absolute terms and in comparison to competitors. The combined CBS News Web sites (including CBSNews.com, BNET and CBS MoneyWatch.com) now rank 5th overall among all combined properties in the General News category (CNN, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, CBS) – and 2nd among media companies that have a broadcast network.

The email, after the jump…


From: McManus, Sean
Sent: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 12:50 PM
To: @CND News; @DM News
Cc: Moonves, Leslie
Subject: FW: A Message From Sean McManus and Neil Ashe

As you know, one of the major projects we’ve embarked on is the expansion of the legendary CBS News brand to the Web. Over the past year or so, following a major redesign of CBSNews.com and the introduction of new features and innovative, Web-first content, CBS News’ online presence has shown signs of significant growth. We are pleased to share with you some of the very impressive results that we recently received:

• According to comScore Media Metrix, the number of unique visitors to CBSNews.com has grown 120 percent over the past year, making CBSNews.com by far the fastest-growing site in the General News category among companies that have a broadcast network. During the same period, our competitors’ uniques ranged from a 20 percent increase to a six percent decline.

• Also, according to comScore Media Metrix, CBSNews.com saw 29 percent growth in unique visitors during the first half of 2010. This is especially notable because our increase came during a period when the General News category as a whole actually declined two percent.

• The recent growth of CBSNews.com has helped our Web footprint grow overall, both in absolute terms and in comparison to competitors. The combined CBS News Web sites (including CBSNews.com, BNET and CBS MoneyWatch.com) now rank 5th overall among all combined properties in the General News category (CNN, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, CBS) – and 2nd among media companies that have a broadcast network.

Clearly, we’re heading in the right direction so we’d like to thank and acknowledge everyone whose hard work is contributing to this crucial evolution of CBS News on the Internet. We also want to highlight some of the Web-first original content that is yielding major growth — some of the best topical blogs and webcasts in the industry, including breakthroughs such as:

• @katiecouric’s incomparable interviews with top newsmakers, tastemakers and trendsetters—Katie is renowned as a peerless interviewer and, following its hugely successful launch, @katiecouric’s audience continues to expand, experiencing 24 percent average month-over-month growth in 2010.

• Crimesider’s unique, riveting true crime news blog—The brilliant 48 HOURS MYSTERY team has created the ultimate online destination for fans of the genre. Over the past year, Crimesider has grown 512 percent in page views and 243 percent in unique users.

• Political Hotsheet’s up-to-the-moment ticker on the hottest news and developments from our exceptional lineup of Washington, D.C. insiders — Average monthly unique users and page views during the second quarter of 2010 saw year-over-year increases of 251 percent and 248 percent, respectively.

• Washington Unplugged, the first regularly scheduled political webcast by any network and now a daily must-view — The legendary Bob Schieffer leads a cast of outstanding journalists presenting the latest news and political perspectives from the nation’s capital. Average monthly streams of Washington Unplugged during the second quarter of 2010 rose 86 percent when compared to the first quarter of 2010.

Congratulations to the CBSNews.com team and to everyone across the News Division who contributes content to these and our other blogs and webcasts.

This creativity and dramatic growth is more than just exciting — it is an essential component of CBS News’ future. Great work!

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