CBS' Poltrack Puts 'Vision' in Research Division


CBS has created a new, expanded research division, CBS Vision, naming longtime CBS research exec David Poltrack to head it as president, as well as executive VP and chief reseach officer for CBS Corporation.

The new division will research "emerging technologies, media-consumption patterns and advertising value in the media marketplace" and provide that intelligence both to CBS business units and outside clients, CBS said in a statement.

Research officers for all the CBS corporate divisions will form an operating committee for CBS Vision.

CBS earlier this month separated from mothership Viacom as a stand-alone company, though still under Sumner Redstone.

Research at the old Viacom/CBS was divided between Betsy Frank, handling the MTV Networks side, and Poltrack, overseeing CBS. With the division of the companies, some of the assets formerly under Viacom moved over to CBS, including Showtime and Simon & Shuster.

Poltrack says the larger element of the change is essentially the creation of an in-house research firm to leverage its assets inside and outside the company as it gets deeper into direct-to-consumer media like online and cellphones. "As we go into the marketplace," he told B&C, "we want to expand on the base of direct-to-consumer research and bring in clients and partners."

CBS has been working with Comcast, Google and others to measure VOD, online and other new-tech platforms for digital delivery.
Should Nielsen, who already partners with CBS on its Las Vegas research operation, be concerned about the competition? "We're not looking to do Nielsen's job," Poltrack says. "We're looking to go beyond Nielsen."
CBS and Nielsen have had an ongoing research operation, Television City, in Las Vegas since 2001--run out of the MGM Grand Hotel--with six or eight outside company clients in the media sector, says Poltrack.

Poltrack had been executive VP, planning and research, for CBS Television since 1994, and has been with the company since 1969.