CBS exec Cyriac Roeding, who started up the company’s mobile Web unit in 2005, is leaving the company and will be replaced by longtime deputy Jeff Sellinger.
Roeding says he doesn’t have a new gig yet, but will likely look start up a mobile company of his own. “The baby has learned to walk,” he told us. “I am more of a serial entrepreneur.”
OK. So what did Roeding accomplish at CBS? By some measures, quite a bit.
There was no mobile business when he arrived, and now there is: By Q4 of last year, he says, CBS’s mobile sites generated 75 million mobile page views, and 5 million unique visitors. Last year Telephia ranked CBS Sports as the No. 8 mobile site among business users by reach. No. 1 was ESPN, which recently told us that its monthly mobile page views were in the “high 9-figures.”
But mobile content is still nascent: CBS is averaging about 24 million uniques per month at its conventional website, or 15x what its mobile site is doing. Growing that audience will be part of the next challenge: Converting what started as a subscription business in an ad-supported one.
The other part: Finding ways to actually sell ads against whatever mobile traffic CBS can generate. Last summer, Roeding signed deals with mobile ad networks Admob, Third Screen Media and Millennial Media. Also, he signed with mobile search advertising firm Medio Systems. And in February, CBS signed up to participate in a trial with Loopt for the first location-based mobile advertising in North America. Loopt operates a social network on Sprint Nextel and Boost Mobile phones.