CBS to bloggers: Install our widgets, and we'll split the profits

Company creates way for region-focused blogs to pull in extra cash by embedding CBS news widgets on their sites and splitting the revenue of accompanying ads.

CBS Television Stations has launched a new program to get its local news headlines onto blogs and social-media sites, the CBS division said Monday.

Called the CBS Local Ad Network, it's a way for participating region-focused blogs to pull in extra cash by embedding CBS news widgets on their sites and splitting the revenue of accompanying ads with CBS.

On Monday, the program was launched in a selection of the TV network's regional markets: Boston, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Francisco, Denver, and Chicago. Within the next few weeks, CBS has said, the CBS Local Ad Network will come to New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Miami, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore.

Some of the blogs currently participating in the new program are San Francisco's SFBayStyle and Boston's Red Sox Nation. Approved sites will be able to choose the content of the CBS headlines displayed (breaking news, sports, politics), as well as select from a number of options to determine, for example, whether they want video content in the widget.

Bloggers can't just embed a widget and hope for profits, CBS Television Stations Digital Media Group president Jonathan Leess told CNET News.com. "There's a screening process, obviously," he said. "We have to figure out or get some visibility into what the content is on that site, and then we screen, but we have a third party (Syndigo Networks) that administers all this for us."

CBS declined to share exact breakdowns of the revenue-distribution process. "All of it's based on certain traffic estimates from each of the sites, and (ad) placement," Leess said.

Inaugural advertisers in the program (depending on the region) include AT&T and Liberty Mutual Insurance.

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About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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