It's time for '60 Minutes' int'l version


"60 Minutes" wants to play even more on the global stage.

CBS News is marketing internationally a version of the 40-year-old newsmagazine that will combine two pieces from the domestic edition plus a segment done to the show's standards by a local crew.

The U.S. feed of "60 Minutes" already runs overseas in about 50 countries in various shapes and forms. An Australian broadcaster, for instance, licenses the "60 Minutes" clock for its own version, but it's not the same show.

"What we've known all along is that so many of our stories translate internationally," "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager said. He added that each program would be tailored to the country in which it airs, maybe not with stories from that week's "60 Minutes" but perhaps from another time during the season. "60 Minutes" also would control the broadcast and hire the local crew.

To that end, CBS News has tapped Patti Hassler as executive editor of 60 Minutes Global, the new unit that will spearhead the international effort as well as its digital brand extensions on cable and online. Senior broadcast producer Bill Owens was promoted to executive editor of "60 Minutes."

There isn't an international deal yet, but Fager hopes that there's one in the fall.

CBS News' plan is part of a strategy to build the brand beyond Sunday nights at 7. That has led to a "60 Minutes" edition on ESPN Classic and a partnership with Yahoo that Fager said led to 70 million streams this past year.

"We're very happy with that, but we know there's a lot more we can do online," he said. (partialdiff)