CBS to Webcast Couric news program

Live online access to "Evening News with Katie Couric" will be supplemented by blogs, video podcasts.

Caroline McCarthy
Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
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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CBS will introduce a live, online broadcast of its "Evening News with Katie Couric" when the program debuts on Sept. 5, the network announced Thursday.

The online portion of the simulcast, which will be supported by advertisements and offered to Web users for free, will be available to those who register to have access to the content synchronized with their time zone. After its airing, each night's "Evening News" will be available online in on-demand form. Viewers can watch the entire program or select reports that interest them.

CBS will be supplementing the "Evening News" simulcasts with additional Web-only content. These include a regularly updated blog called "Couric & Company," designed to provide news and relevant links throughout the day, as well as a daily on-demand video clip called "First Look," which previews the headlines that will be explored in more depth that evening.

Two more Web-only features will be available through Apple Computer's iTunes store, as well as on CBS's Web site: a five-minute segment called "Eye to Eye," which broadcasts extended interviews with the personalities from that night's "Evening News," and "Katie Couric's Notebook," a 1-minute look into a specific news item. The joint CBS-iTunes content will be available for free as both audio and video podcasts.

Live simulcasts of television programs have largely been limited to niche cable networks like the MTV Networks-owned MTVU, which is currently beta testing a broadband version of its college-oriented channel.

Still, other broadcast networks' evening news programs have been dabbling in Web and mobile content. Last fall, NBC's "Nightly News" made its content available online free of charge after its TV broadcast. And last month, "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams started supplementing his program's broadcast content with a video blog, or vlog, that is made available earlier in the day--a concept similar to the "First Look" feature that CBS is now adding to "Evening News."