CBS To Combine News And TV Stations, Names Co-heads

ViacomCBS Inc. announced plans to combine CBS News and the CBS Television Stations. The journalistic and business operations of both will be combined into one divisional and leadership structure.

Neeraj Khemlani and Wendy McMahon were appointed as presidents and co-heads of the newly formed division, effective early next month. The company is in discussions with Susan Zirinsky, currently President of CBS News, for a significant role at a new CBS News Content Studio to be launched later this year.

As per the plan, the unified division will have the broadcast resources of CBS News, the 24/7 streaming news service CBSN, 10 CBSN Local platforms, and 28 CBS-owned stations in 17 major U.S. markets.

The combination is expected to maximize the power of CBS’ newsgathering and production operations to serve audiences across all national, digital, local and global platforms.

Khemlani is Hearst Newspapers, Cable Networks & Digital Media Executive, while McMahon is former Group president of Walt Disney Co. ‘s ABC-owned television stations.

Both will share responsibility for the broadcast news division and CBS’s television stations and will report to George Cheeks, President & Chief Executive Officer of the CBS Entertainment Group.

CBS noted that the latest appointment marks a homecoming for both executives. Khemlani was a producer on 60 MINUTES and “60 Minutes II” for eight years while McMahon served seven years at WBZ Boston and WCCO Minneapolis.

Cheeks said, “This is an opportunity to create a news and information structure that positions CBS for the future. It speaks to our ability to scale newsgathering, production, technical and operational resources to serve both national and local, linear and digital, with the agility to deliver trusted information to every platform.”

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