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CBS To YouTube: Who Loves You, Baby?

(WROC/Rochester)
CBS' tumultuous relationship with YouTube has apparently turned a corner. Lost Remote notes a couple pieces of "juicy" news: First, there's what the Associated Press reports was "a 45-minute sit-down" between CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves and Youtube CEO Chad Hurley. "Moonves marveled when Hurley informed him that YouTube's steadily expanding audience is now watching about 100 million videos per day," writes Michael Liedtke. "He asked how YouTube might be able to direct more traffic to Web sites owned by CBS. The meeting ended with Moonves concluding that CBS should start posting daily snippets of its programming on YouTube."

The second piece of news has to do with something we covered in February. You might remember the name Jason McElwain – he is the autistic high school student from Rochester, N.Y., who scored 20 points in four minutes during a basketball game. The "Evening News" story on McElwain generated enormous response, and it was quickly uploaded on YouTube, where it was viewed more than one million times. CBS News soon asked YouTube to take it down. "It's uncool for people to take our video without permission," Betsy Morgan, senior vice president and general manager of CBSNews.com, said at the time. "It's interesting and encouraging that there's that much of an audience for our content. But this stuff should come back to the core site – otherwise it's theft."

Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports, now says that CBS is rethinking its attitude. "You've got to find the fine line between the great promotion YouTube gives a network, and protecting our rights," he told TV Week. "Our inclination now is, the more exposure we get from clips like that, the better it is for CBS News and the CBS television network, so in retrospect we probably should have embraced the exposure, and embraced the attention it was bringing CBS, instead of being parochial and saying 'let's pull it down.'"