Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quincy Smith Leaving CBS Interactive - What Does It Really Mean

Quincy Smith, CBS Interactive CEO, is leaving after 3 years at the helm to head back to Silicon Valley and his own startup. And while the claim is that he will continue to consult for CBS, the question is why now when the job he started has not been completed., his alternative to Hulu, seems to be a non-product to its competitor and has little if any consumer awareness. The CNET acquisition has yet to thrive and their acquisition of a little website called Wallstrip merely resulted in its being shut down. So what grade does Quincy Smith get for his leadership? And why will he still be on retainer?

As Comcast and others discuss TV Everywhere, where does CBS stand. CBS seems to have created product and tactics without strategy and don't seem to know the direction they are headed. When asked in a recent interview, Smith replied, "Yeah, and I think there is a lot more I can do outside of CBS on that particular issue than inside. CBS has clearly got the Kool-aid of it inside. We have always been adamant about saying yes. Streaming stuff for fans online is the right thing to do, but the question is, What is the business model to make it work?" Ahhh, more questions than answers. Really, being outside CBS will help him focus on CBS. Got it. Right.

Is CBS also dissatisfied with Quincy Smith's performance and is this a nice way to get him out of the way. We will know when we see what kind of interaction this new company will have with CBS and how long it lasts. My vote, 3 to 6 months. It is a nice way to say goodbye.