CBS Corp. is expanding its wireless department, creating a new division – CBS Mobile – to sit under its larger CBS Interactive umbrella. Cyriac Roeding, who has headed the company’s wireless efforts since 2005 will be executive VP of the new division, reporting to CBS Interactive President Quincy Smith.
Roeding has already been aggressive in forging new mobile deals for the company as VP of Wireless. Setting up the new similarly named division was intended to both acknowledge that CBS was expanding its in-house wireless team and create new wireless opportunities beyond just those for cellphones. For example, the division is working with CBS’ outdoor unit on interactive Wi-Fi billboards.
In an interview with B&C, Roeding said CBS was aiming to “push the envelope” with its mobile products and noted he was looking to bring on some 20 new employees as part of a bigger mobile push.
Last year, for example, CBS became the first network to offer video text message alerts on news, sports and entertainment. It also reworked one of its scripted dramas, CSI: New York, to include a Coldplay song that viewers could obtain as a ringtone by text messaging. And last spring, the company began aggressively experimenting with the mobile platform at the local level, signing a deal with weather-information provider Weathernews Inc. (WNI) to deliver local news from 10 owned-and-operated stations to Sprint subscribers for $4.99 a month.
More recently, the company announced at the recent International CES that it signed a deal with Qualcomm’s MediaFLO mobile television offering. CBS is looking to start its dedicated network feed on MediaFLO by first quarter of next year, according to Roeding.
Following the division’s creation, Roeding has upped CBS Wireless Director Jeff Sellinger to VP, CBS Mobile. Sellinger, who has been with CBS since November 2005, will oversee operations on the company’s mobile projects, reporting to Roeding.
Roeding will continue to oversee mobile operations for CBS’ sister broadcast network The CW.