The Complaints Department

The Complaints Department

vaughn2.jpgCBS News offers a quick glimpse into the Public Eye, Vaughn Ververs’ “conversation between CBS News and the public.”

The former Hotline editor was brought on board as a sort of network ombudsman, part of an effort to bring transparency to the Tiffany network while rebuilding its image and ratings in the wake of last fall’s National Guard story scandal.

CBS News President Andrew Heyward says Ververs’ blog will “monitor other blogs, e-mails, and viewer calls to report on disputes over CBS News stories before they boil over.” He will report to CBS Digital boss Larry Kramer, instead of Heyward. “The news division can’t fire me no matter what they’re mad about,” Ververs said.

Ververs worked at CBS News and Fox News Channel before a moving to the Hotline in 1998. Heyward says “he maintained strict political neutrality at the Hotline, but he has a political job in his background,” working as press secretary for Pat Buchanan’s ’92 bid for the GOP nomination.

Heyward says the political job was “just a coincidence…. We didn’t go out looking for someone who had right-wing credentials. I don’t see this as a very politicized position.”

The forum expects to start after Labor Day.