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CBS pushes for new audience with Katie Couric app

In an effort to further mobilize its news, CBS Mobiles has launched a Katie Couric-branded CBS News application.

CBS launched the application to connect all of Ms. Couric's news content from across the different media channels she produces it for. The network hopes to reach fans of the news anchor as well as iPhone users that have not yet been exposed to Ms. Couric.

?As both a trusted reporter and formidable interviewer, Katie Couric has gained a strong and loyal following,? said Rob Gelick, senior vice president and general manager of CBS Mobile, Los Angeles. ?Our strategy behind the app was to offer Katie?s broadcast viewers and online audience a convenient, fast and easy way to stay connected with all of her reporting and news coverage, beyond the television."

CBS News is the news and information arm of CBS Corp. and besides ?CBS Evening News with Katie Couric,? it features programming such as ?The Early Show? and ?48 Hours Mystery.? 
CBS Mobile is a unit of CBS Interactive Inc. and is responsible for CBS Corp.'s wireless business across entertainment, sports and news for CBS, The CW and CBS Paramount Television.

Pocket-sized Couric

The free application features breaking news and highlights from CBS programming such as ?CBS Evening News? and ?60 Minutes.? Excerpts and full-length interviews done by Ms. Couric are also aggregated in the application.

At, Ms. Couric has a video blog, @katiecouric, which features candid video interviews. Content from @katiecouric webcasts and written blogs from Ms. Couric?s Notebook blog are featured in the application.

The application also features breaking news and developments on stories that are updated throughout the day from CBS Evening News and, as well as highlights from Ms. Couric?s interviews on CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes and other CBS News programs.

The application will feature banner, interstitial, video pre-roll and rich media ads.

Mr. Gelick said that it was constructed to meet the needs of any sponsorship and be flexible enough to handle multiple ad formats. 

Quattro Wireless is one of the several ad networks serving banner advertisements within the application.

CBS uses software that operates behind the scenes as a traffic cop to keep ads flowing into the application ? whether they are sold via a third party or in-house.

Transpera powers the video and pre-roll advertisements within the application.

CBS partnered with July Systems, a mobile Web and applications platform company, to develop the application.

For the application, CBS is targeting anyone who watches CBS Evening News, 18-49-year-olds who are upwardly mobile and interested in news and interviews.

The application is being marketed with placement on in the sections relating to CBS Evening News and the @katiecouric video blog.

There will also be ad units for the application in daily and weekly newsletters related to CBS Evening News programming.

Depending on available time, CBS may push the application during on-air TV programming.

Mobilizing the Eye network
In December, Mr. Gelick discussed CBS? wireless strategy (see story).

CBS also has an ad-supported iPhone application that aggregates content from several programs and fosters a mobile news community.

The application features content from The Early Show, CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, and 60 Minutes. CBS Mobile and Treemo Labs developed the application and Transpera powers the video and ad capabilities (see story).

?Katie Couric is a significant brand and a driving force as anchor of CBS Evening News and Managing Editor of CBS News,? Mr. Gelick said. ?The Katie Couric app capitalizes on her broad appeal, and extends her brand footprint beyond online and broadcast, to now include mobile. 

?By highlighting the unique quality of Katie and her work, and offering it in a convenient always-with-you format, we think we?ll increase the strength and penetration of her brand, and of CBS News in general,? he said.