CBS News has found its new leaders.
Neeraj Khemlani, executive vice president of Hearst Newspapers, has signed a deal with ViacomCBS to take a senior management position at CBS News, according to two sources aware of the deal.
Hemlani will be the “co-head” of a new combined unit of CBS News and CBS Television Stations, the company said in an official statement on Thursday. He will be joined by Wendy McMahon, who until Wednesday was the head of the group of ABC television stations.
“This is an opportunity to create a news and information structure to position CBS in the future,”
Hemlani is expected to take primary responsibility for CBS News’s national broadcasts, while McMahon is expected to take responsibility for CBS’s local stations, sources said. In an email to staff members, Cheeks said the co-chairs “will lead this unit as a team, each with specific areas of focus” and that there will be “more specificity on this issue, including reporting structures, in the near future. future. ”
Hemlani will replace Susan Zirinski, a 40-year veteran of CBS News who took the top spot two years ago. While Zirinsky made some remarkable changes, including a remake of CBS this morning, ratings for both morning and evening broadcasts declined during her tenure, reflecting the broad, long-standing downturn in the industry.
Television news has undergone many changes in management. Kimberly Godwin, CEO of CBS News, which also fought for Zirinski’s position, was appointed president of ABC News this week, as NBC News first reported last week.
In cable, Rashida Jones, president of MSNBC, became the first black woman to run a cable news network this year. CNN President Jeff Zucker also announced his intention to retire by the end of 2021. (NBCUniversal is the parent company of NBC News and MSNBC.)
Zirinsky, a veteran news producer who has often quarreled with the corporate bureaucracy required by her current position, is in talks to sign a manufacturing deal with ViacomCBS to create news content on the company’s platforms, two knowledge sources said. The Wall Street Journal first reported the deal on Tuesday.