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CBS' Smith still has faith in Joost, won't rule out Hulu

Speaking to reporters in New York, CBS Interactive president Quincy Smith said that he thinks the once-hyped video software still has a chance to make it big--and that CBS still could sign onto Hulu.

Some would say that peer-to-peer video start-up Joost, created by the founders of Skype and Kazaa, failed to live up to the overwhelming hype that surrounded it. CBS Interactive president Quincy Smith, whose CBS Audience Network of online video sites includes a partnership with Joost, isn't one of them.

Speaking to a small gathering of tech and media reporters at CBS' New York headquarters Thursday, Smith gave a firm "no" when asked if Joost--which requires a software download and has slipped from the Web video radar since its buzzworthy debut--was dead in the water. "(Mike) Volpe knows what he's doing," Smith said of the Cisco Systems veteran who serves as the start-up's CEO. "It's got a good team."

Smith did add that he thinks Joost should be Web-based, not a download.

And with regard to Hulu, the joint Web-video venture between NBC Universal and News Corp. that has turned out to be quite the pleasant surprise, Smith would not rule out the possibility that CBS might jump on board, presumably by adding Hulu to its list of Audience Network distribution partners--which include AOL, Bebo, Microsoft, Sling Media, Veoh, and CNET Networks, parent company of CNET He said that there are no technological barriers to bringing CBS' video content to Hulu and that CBS Interactive's "door is always open."

Regarding Hulu's team, Smith said, "We talk to them all the time.".