As I look at the efforts by traditional media to incorporate online, the move by CBS in forcing its local stations to adopt “city.cbslocal.com” as their identity is nothing short of mind boggling.
CBS stations around the country have some of the strongest local news and program brands that exist. WBZ and WBZ-TV here in Boston, KYW & KYW-TV in Philly, WBBM & WBBM-TV, Chicago are incredibly powerful local brands and there are many others, both radio and TV.
These are brands which can be vastly helpful in attracting local audiences to their online services. And, by and large, they’re throwing all that brand power away for no reason.
What possibly could be the thinking here?
It’s particularly stupid here in Boston to adopt a brand that, frankly, screams “New York” and certainly doesn’t say “local”. Remember the popular Boston T-shirt? “I’m for Boston and any other team that beats New York”?
And let’s not even spend time considering their tagline describing the Web site: “life just got easier”. WTF does that mean to anyone?
I’m a huge believer in the power of local media to use their local identity to weather the transition to a digital world. I can’t think of a single reason for this CBS blunder except that it makes some corporate Webmaster’s life a little easier.
CBS should bite the bullet and return their local identify to one that is truly local. WBZ is local. CBSlocal is in New York.