CBS combines information, TV stations group and faucets new leaders

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In a sweeping shift, CBS on Thursday mixed its legendary information division and TV stations group, which supplies native information to tens of millions of People.

The corporate tapped Hearst newspaper and cable government Neeraj Khemlani and former ABC Owned Tv Stations president Wendy McMahon as presidents and co-heads of the newly fashioned division.

The brand new division brings below one roof CBS Information, its digital streaming service CBSN, 10 native information platforms and the 28 CBS-owned stations in 17 main U.S. markets.

CBS Chief Government George Cheeks introduced the reorganization Thursday. He opted for 2 outsiders to shake up the divisions, together with the CBS stations group, following the ouster of its longtime boss, Peter Dunn, within the wake of a Los Angeles Instances investigation.

The corporate stated the transfer marked a homecoming to CBS for each executives. Khemlani served as a producer on “60 Minutes” and “60 Minutes II” for eight years, whereas McMahon labored for seven years on the CBS-owned WBZ Boston and WCCO Minneapolis earlier than she joined the Walt Disney Co.

Khemlani is an award-winning former information correspondent, masking the conflict in Bosnia. For greater than a decade he has been an government at Hearst, most not too long ago as government vp and deputy group head at Hearst Newspapers, overseeing 3,000 workers who work at 24 each day newspapers and 52 weekly publications. Earlier than that, he helped lead enterprise, product and newsgathering efforts at Yahoo!.

Whereas CBS Information is thought for its strong journalism, together with “60 Minutes” and the most-watched weekend morning program, “CBS Sunday Morning,” the community’s weekday morning and night newscasts have lengthy trailed ABC Information and NBC Information within the scores.

The brand new administration staff was introduced sooner or later after former rating CBS Information government Kim Godwin left to run ABC Information.

A rising star inside the Walt Disney Co., McMahon, has been answerable for the eight ABC-owned TV stations since December 2017. Earlier than that, she was senior vp liable for digital content material and product expertise for the stations. McMahon beforehand served as a vp for programming and artistic providers at KABC-TV Channel 7, the top-ranked station in Los Angeles.

At CBS, McMahon can have a a lot bigger job — main 28 tv stations, together with KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KCAL-TV Channel 9 in L.A. — in addition to overseeing CBS Information and the digital information platforms with Khemlani.

“This is a chance to create a information and knowledge construction that positions CBS for the longer term,” Cheeks stated in an announcement. “It speaks to our potential to scale newsgathering, manufacturing, technical and operational assets to serve each nationwide and native, linear and digital, with the agility to ship trusted info to each platform.”

Cheeks retooled his group after the 2,800-employee CBS TV Stations group was rocked by allegations that Dunn and his lieutenant, David Good friend, had cultivated an setting that included bullying feminine managers and blocking efforts to rent and retain Black journalists. The boys have denied wrongdoing.

Final week, CBS ousted Dunn and Good friend following The Instances’ sequence, which revealed issues in an usually ignored nook of the company that lacks the status of the CBS tv community however stays a significant supply of native information for tens of millions of People — and a key income.

The CBS investigation into Dunn’s and Good friend’s alleged conduct is ongoing.

Dozens of present and former employees members in Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia and New York have complained of a hostile work setting. Journalists in New York alleged that managers usually made information protection choices that uncared for communities of coloration. The flagship WCBS station in New York lacked a full-time Black male reporter till March 2020, the identical month that Cheeks, who’s biracial, took the reins at CBS.

The Instances’ sequence additionally raised questions on a $55-million buy of a TV station on New York’s Lengthy Island — the one station acquisition throughout Dunn’s 11-year tenure overseeing CBS’ station group. The 2011 deal got here with privileges for Dunn and different high-level CBS executives at an ultra-exclusive golf membership within the Hamptons, the place they hobnobbed with billionaires, together with the proprietor of the Miami Dolphins, Stephen Ross.

Susan Zirinsky, who has served as CBS Information president for 2 years, will keep on till the brand new management group takes the reins in early Might.

A stalwart within the information division for practically a half-century, Zirinsky made historical past when she grew to become the primary lady to steer CBS Information in March 2019. She stepped into the management function at a time when CBS was reeling from a sequence of sexual harassment scandals that introduced down the corporate’s former chief, Leslie Moonves, and morning newsman Charlie Rose.

Zirinsky elevated journalist Norah O’Donnell to anchor “CBS Night Information” and tailor-made the morning information present across the in style Gayle King.

CBS stated it was discussing with Zirinsky “a major function” for the legendary producer to remain on on the CBS Information Content material Studio, which is deliberate for a launch later this yr.

Instances Employees Author Stephen Battaglio contributed to this report.

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