CBS Forms Digital Media Division

Viacom’s CBS has reorganized all of its Web and digital properties under a single, newly created division. It has hired MarketWatch founder Larry Kramer to head the unit.

The division, called CBS Digital Media, will unify both programming and ad sales for CBS.com, CBS SportsLine.com, CBSNews.com, and UPN.com. Kramer will work closely with JoAnn Ross, president of CBS Network Sales, to bring together existing ad sales operations. He’ll also work with the presidents of the television, sports, and news groups, who will continue to be involved in program development.

“By bringing all of CBS’s Internet and digital assets together, we will be able to move more quickly into creating new forms of programming and new tools for our advertisers,” said Kramer in a statement. “This new unit already has nearly 20 million users and is already profitable. That is a terrific foundation for the programming and advertising juggernaut we intend to become.”

Under Kramer, MarketWatch was seen as an innovator in online advertising. It was one of the first to offer dayparting in 2001, selling Budweiser a placement that appeared only from 2 to 5 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. In 2002, it joined with rivals to form the At-Work Brand Network, to let advertisers reach consumers during the workday. More recently, the site was redesigned to better showcase video advertising.

In his new job, Kramer will report directly to Leslie Moonves, chairman of CBS and copresident and cochief operating officer of Viacom. His relationship with CBS began when, as an employee of Data Broadcasting Corp., he proposed a joint venture with the network; CBS MarketWatch was the result. That site was sold to Dow Jones & Co. in November for $463 million.

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