As Kurt Hanson reported in RAIN, CBS News has changed tactics with the debut of Katie Couric on the "CBS Evening News." To cater to the web audience (many of whom get their news on the Internet, rather than from newspapers or television), Couric's network news is simulcast on the CBS News Web site.
More importantly, the newscast is also available on-demand after its broadcast. Check out this quote from Sean McManus, CBS News President: "The point is to be able to say to people, if you want to watch the 'CBS Evening News With Katie Couric,' you can do it wherever you are. It's going to be on radio in many markets, it's going to be on your television screen, cell phones."
Additionally, Couric has a blog; there is a feature that takes viewers behind the scenes so they can see stories that are being considered for that day's broadcast, extended interviews, and other features. Our Tim Davis recently wrote in this space about how compelling it can be when the media "pulls back the curtain," and it appears that CBS News is doing just that.
How can radio stations - specifically, morning shows, other personalities, and programmers - do similar things that build interest in the product and the brand? Are we "giving away" our programming when we provides podcasts of shows or even "best of" features OR are we enhancing interest and building buzz?
As on-demand becomes as much a part of the media experience as the remote control, radio broadcasters are going to have to grapple with these issues, sooner rather than later. While it's still early in the game to suss out the ratings story, you have to give McManus and CBS News credit for innovation, risk-taking, and differentiation.
We could use a lot more of those qualities on the radio side.