As previously reported, CBS executives said they planned to launch the 24-hour online news service next week using a new approach: a cobranded site between the network and its affiliates. Competitors ABC and NBC already have their own Web sites.
The technology from Oracle and CBS New Media--dubbed CBSnow--will make it easier for producers to create pages complete with national and local content. The material is created and stored in a database at CBS's broadcast center in New York.
A sneak peek at the site showed local, national, and international news under the heading "Your world, all in one place." A look at a local affiliate's site showed a mix of headlines from local and national news, including one on Monica Lewinsky, another on the Super Bowl, and one on a local group seeking food donations.
It also reads: "Just enter your home zip code below. Once we know where you're coming from, the information most relevant to you and your hometown are just a click away." The site says cookies are used. As a result, "your local participating CBSnow (Network on the Web) television station's navigation bar will appear across the Web."
"Using the Oracle database, a massive filing system used to manage large amounts of information at the core of the distribution system, CBSnow is able serve up text, images, audio, and video in the form of anything from news-related polls to coverage of live events," the companies said in a statement today.
Oracle already has teamed up with CNN to create a cobranded site to provide personalized news. Dubbed Custom News, it was rolled out last summer by Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison and Time Warner vice chairman Ted Turner. CNN is owned by Turner.
Television networks are working quickly to beef up their Web strategies. They face competition from each other, as well as from online services and Internet search directories, which threaten to cut into their viewership and ad revenues.