CBS stages open call for tech entrepreneurs

November 6, 2006

hquincysmith_smaller.jpg(Updates with links to stories)Veteran dealmaker Quincy Smith has joined CBS Corp. as president of CBS Interactive. Reuters caught up with the 35-year-old executive, who returns to an operations role after spending the last few years negotiating deals at media and entertainment investment bank Allen & Co., where he worked on’s sale to AOL, several deals with Google Inc. and Viacom’s Neopets purchase.Venerable old broadcast network CBS has been anything but “slow-growth” in the past year, at least when it comes to embracing new distribution technologies, Smith is charged with wrangling the company’s portfolio of radio, TV, books and outdoor advertising units to come up with a cohesive strategy — not to mention finding what CBS CEO Leslie Moonves calls “The Next YouTube.”Here’s an excerpt of the interview ahead of the announcement:Reuters: Youre a veteran deal maker with a long history in Silicon Valley dating back to Netscape. Whats the message CBS is sending with your hiring?Smith: Dont forget, Ive been on the company side, more than I have been as an investment banker. I more than appreciate the importance of operations and not just deal making. Deal making to me includes corporate development, investment and acquisition, but also commercial. YouTube-CBS is a great example of that.The real opportunity for media, in this day and age, is ostensibly the interactive platform, not just online, but mobile and gaming. Basically, promise a way for content companies to get closer than ever to their audience, to build community around their audience, to learn from their audience so they can put out better professional content.Im actually pretty excited about the opportunity of continuing on the great platform, or collection of sites, weve aggregated already — To be more of a build place (as in build-it-ourselves rather than buy).Reuters: Where will you find the next YouTube?Smith: My job will be working with guys like Martin Varsavsky (CEO FON), or Blake Krikorian (CEO Sling Media) or Nick Grouf at Spot Runner to find those guys before they hit the hockey stick inflection point. I think theyre (YouTube) very important and I dont take away at all. I think the world of the Google YouTube acquisition. But YouTube is not something that would be right inside CBS, its more of a platform play.Im going to look for smaller collections of entrepreneurs. And Im going to think more about building the right platform so we can just optimize our traditional content to window it out on the digital world.Reuters: What types of properties will CBS seek?Smith: Im looking for the next YouTube, only a year earlier, when they were 1/32nd of their size, without building out stuff that we would find duplicative like sales force. The core engineering team is always important.But the one thing Ill say, particularly to your audience, is I want to make sure that this is an appeal to every entrepreneur of every company size. This is a notion that CBS is reaching out to Silicon Valley and a little bit of New York with the Allen & Co. pedigree. But keep in mind most of my clients are out there.We want to see them all. We want to see everyone in there. And we want to learn.And youre going to call me, hopefully, consistently…once a week and be asking, We hearing youre talking to so and so and you know Im not going to comment.We want to be the first ones called.Reuters: How do you see CBS’s digital strategy evolving?Smith: Hopefully its a conversation we can have, I’ll say, in six months to make CBS corporate happy. But Ill say to you three months because we have to move on this sooner rather than later. Interactive affects every business unit, not just interactive.The first part is almost the notion of a federal government that flows across all the business units that helps us set the strategy working in tandem with (the units). Nancy Tellem (president of CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group) in entertainment will have a fairly different strategy in terms of windowing out what content and when. Wally Kelly who runs CBS Outdoor, whats the digital opportunity there? Each of these guys is going to have slightly different strategies.But the important thing is that we get confidence internally on a set interactive strategy that will immediately change and be organic as we grow. From there we can think about how we can execute on this as a team.Reuters story can be found here.Wall Street Journal’s coverage here (subscription required) talks about his deep ties to Google including an endorsement from Google CEO Eric Schmidt: “Virtually all of the significant acquisitions, much of the media strategy was co-developed with Quincy,” Schmidt tells WSJ. “Quincy knows as much about the company as any of the executives at Google.”


Quincy Smith: In the interview with Reuters, you stated, “But the one thing Ill say, particularly to your audience, is I want to make sure that this is an appeal to every entrepreneur of every company size. This is a notion that CBS is reaching out to Silicon Valley and a little bit of New York with the Allen & Co. pedigree. But keep in mind most of my clients are out there.

“We want to see them all. We want to see everyone in there. And we want to learn.”

Muzility is such an online video company in Palo Alto Ca. We are not a YouTube clone, like so many. If you take a look at our website, know that this is only the public facing side of what we make available. There is a private and a small and medium business area that is not facing the public.

We would like to hear from you.

Bill Leikam, President
Muzility, LLC
Palo Alto, Ca.


one of my friends has a tiny site,, check it out, nowadays open forum is everywhere… in my opinion, well, if CBS adds some city travels to its interactive programming, it would be cool…

Posted by GrassrootScience | Report as abusive

Remember this name Mr. Smith–VenueCzar. It is a beautiful little slice of the promise of WEB 2.0.


Mr.Quincy Smith,
Sounds like a daunting task you’re undertaking…don’t overlook an orchid while searching for a rose..please contact me to get the full story(potential)on our company.
Bill Brown
Raleigh, NC


If CBS is loking for a new platform they should look at professional rockstars music and fashion video podcasting network. With our custumized content of the top recording artist dj and producers. Along with coverage of the premier music and fashion events worldwide, how could they go wrong.
We also have are own flash player which we created which like youtube and myspace and many other players can be embeded on any html page.
We have grown at a magnificent rate our media kit speaks for the growth and experience of building the strength in professionalrockstars branding and video podcasting as well as commnunity networking on a worldwide basis.
Our media kit iakit.pdf


Mr. Smith,
We’re original, scripted and we target women with our programming. Check us out at We’d love to talk to you about what we have to offer. We’re here in NYC and excited to share our ideas with you.

Pamela Canales


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