AOL Chooses CBS as Exclusive News Partner

America Online, Inc., the world’s leading e-commerce portal, has entered an agreement with CBS Corporation making CBS News the exclusive provider of broadcast news for AOL and CompuServe, and the premier provider of broadcast news on AOL.com.

The agreement establishes a plan for extensive on-air marketing of AOL during CBS news programming, positioning AOL to draw a larger news and business oriented audience to its site. This new audience is expected to boost online sales of products and services geared toward this market segment.

Under the terms of the agreement, CBS News will be guaranteed a major and ongoing presence throughout AOL, CompuServe and AOL.com. America Online has also committed to showcase CBS News correspondents, producers and editors throughout the service.

As part of the alliance, CBS will provide extensive on-air promotion within each of its news broadcasts, including the CBS Evening News With Dan Rather, 60 Minutes, Face The Nation, and 48 Hours. In addition, CBS News broadcasters will be actively involved in the development, production and promotion of AOL live chat events.

Neither CBS nor AOL have disclosed the financial terms of the deal, though AOL reports it is more lucrative than their prior arrangement with ABC. In addition to cross-promotion, CBS and AOL will share advertising revenue generated from AOL brands incorporating the CBS News programming.

Mel Karmazin, President and CEO, CBS Corporation, stated, “Over the next 12 months, AOL members will view half a billion pages with the CBS News logo framing our editorial content. That’s a tremendous number of impressions, in a medium that augments our more traditional television and radio audience.

Karmazin went on to say, In forming this partnership with AOL, we are also developing an important new audience and new revenue streams for CBS News, the premier newsgathering organization in the world.”

By partnering with AOL, CBS will reach an audience of news consumers larger than the circulation of the nation’s top three daily newspapers combined, and twice the size of the next largest news sites on the Web, according to Media Metrix.

Earlier this week, AOL announced that its members spent over $1 billion with AOL retailers during the six weeks prior to Christmas.

America Online, based in Dulles, Virginia, operates both America Online and CompuServe.

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