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CBS Has a New Chief Executive to Run OTT Services Like CBS All Access and CBSN

Jason Gurwin

With CBS going through big changes with their upcoming merger with Viacom, add another to the list. CBS Interactive, which oversees CBS digital properties like CNET, Gamespot and Chowhound as well as OTT services like CBS All Access and CBSN, has a new lead.

Jim Lanzone, who lead the initiative to launch CBS All Access in 2014, has left the company to become Executive-in-Residence at Benchmark Capital, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm. Lanzone originally joined CBS in 2011 through the acquisition of Clicker Media, a company he founded in 2009 as the “TV Guide” of the Internet. Taking his place as the new CEO of CBS Interactive is Marc DeBevoise, who also joined CBS in 2011 and most recently served as CBS Interactive’s President and COO.

“Jim has led CBS Interactive through a tremendous growth period, both as an operator and as someone who had the foresight to place CBS on the cutting edge of the digital media landscape. CBS All Access and our other streaming services have proven to be game-changing opportunities for the company,” said Joe Ianniello, President and Acting Chief Executive Officer of CBS.

In his new role, DeBevoise will oversee the division, including its 25-plus industry-leading consumer-facing web and mobile properties and its leading direct-to-consumer OTT subscription video on demand and live streaming services.

“It’s been an honor to lead the CBS Interactive team for nearly nine years, and I’m thrilled that Marc will seamlessly continue the great work we’ve done together,” said Jim Lanzone. “Marc was one of the first executives I hired back in 2011, and he has been central to our digital transformation of CBS ever since. We’ve been planning this transition together since early in the year, and I know our team is in great hands going forward.”

This summer, CBS All Access announced that their mobile and tablet apps, which is housed inside of the CBS App, would get a much needed redesign later this the summer. The last major update of the CBS App came almost a year ago when they added Download and Play support, which allowed for the app to be used offline. While details of the changes is sparse, the hope is that the update will bring the app more in line with other SVOD apps like Hulu and Netflix.

As part of their 2018 Fourth Quarter earnings, CBS announced that they had surpassed 8 million direct-to-consumer subscribers of CBS All Access and Showtime. The company originally projected that it would take another two years to reach that number of subscribers.

The company has now set a new goal to reach 25 million domestic subscribers of both of their OTT services by 2022. By comparison, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video surpassed that number by the end of 2018, while Netflix announced 60 million domestic subscribers (150 million worldwide) in July.

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