TVBizwire

CBS Branches Out With New Venture Focused on Live Events Variety

CBS is working on a new line of business involving live events, reports Brian Steinberg at Variety. The network will introduce the new business with a live event to mark the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first appearance on U.S. television, when the band appeared on CBS’s “The Ed Sullivan Show,” the story says.

The event will feature a two-hour symposium, which will include archival footage from CBS News and a panel of experts moderated by CBS News senior business correspondent Anthony Mason.

The new venture, “CBS News Live Experiences,” plans to make use of the network's news archives while also tapping its local TV and radio stations to reach local fans, the story reports.

“We are thinking about how we could create more experiences around those assets and bring them to life in ways that go beyond broadcast -- in the infotainment space, in the spoken-word space. We have a lot of opportunities,” said CBS exec David Goodman, who is overseeing the new business.

CBS News President David Rhodes said the company’s news archives have “really been underutilized.”

“It’s not like you’re going to see more archival content in our regular linear broadcast, like ‘CBS This Morning,’ but you’re going to see it, I think, when there are good opportunities,” such as live events, Rhodes told the publication.

The new business is similar to how other media companies have focused on expanding their brands via events, such as The New Yorker’s annual festival and The New York Times Co.’s series of events that tap its staff of journalists, Steinberg writes.

CBS is making the most of the anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in the U.S., including putting on the TV special "The Night That Changed America: A Grammys Salute to the Beatles," as we are reporting separately. "Late Show with David Letterman" is also planning a week of Beatles-focused programming.

david rhodes-cbs news.pngDavid Rhodes