Breaking: Sean McManus, the president of CBS News and Sports, will be vacating his role as head of CBS News, the company confirms. McManus will become chairman of CBS Sports in the new reporting structure.
In his place, “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager will become chairman of CBS News, while David Rhodes, currently in charge of Bloomberg TV, will become president of CBS News. Before Bloomberg, Rhodes spent 12 years at Fox News Channel, starting as a PA and eventually leading the network’s newsgathering division. Fager will continue to oversee “60 Minutes” while serving as chairman
“In these two great news professionals, we get the best of both worlds: the quintessential insider with deep knowledge of the business and all the moving parts at CBS News, as well as a dynamic young executive with strong news management experience and a tough, fresh point of view,” said CBS CEO Les Moonves in a statement. “They will inherit a proud and dedicated organization that has been well positioned for success in the future by their predecessor. Together, they make the ultimate winning team.”
Paul Friedman, currently executive VP at CBS News, will remain in that role.
More information in the official announcement, after the jump.
CBS NAMES NEW MANAGEMENT TEAM AT CBS NEWS
Jeff Fager, the Executive Producer of 60 MINUTES, has been promoted to the newly created position of Chairman of CBS News, and David Rhodes, most recently the head of U.S. Television operations for Bloomberg, has been named President of CBS News. The announcement was made today by Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation.
In his new role as Chairman of CBS News, Fager will report to Moonves and guide the overall editorial direction, content and quality of all CBS News broadcasts, both on-air and online. As President of the division, Rhodes will report to Fager and run the operations of CBS News on a day-to-day basis, taking charge of all coverage and staffing. The appointments are effective February 22, 2011.
“In these two great news professionals, we get the best of both worlds: the quintessential insider with deep knowledge of the business and all the moving parts at CBS News, as well as a dynamic young executive with strong news management experience and a tough, fresh point of view,” said Moonves. “They will inherit a proud and dedicated organization that has been well positioned for success in the future by their predecessor. Together, they make the ultimate winning team.”
Fager and Rhodes succeed Sean McManus who, in a separate announcement released today, has been named to the newly created position of Chairman of CBS Sports.
After a long and eminent career in broadcast journalism, Fager became the Executive Producer of 60 MINUTES when the broadcast’s iconic founder, Don Hewitt, retired in 2004. Since then, he has continued to build the reputation of the broadcast, upholding its quality and increasing its relevance in a new and challenging era of electronic journalism. He oversaw the program’s conversion to high definition while growing its Internet presence and shaping its content to keep 60 MINUTES on top as the #1 news broadcast on television. His efforts resulted in an unprecedented amount of awards and an average audience that is more than double that of its closest newsmagazine competition. Fager will maintain his position as Executive Producer of 60 MINUTES.
“Jeff Fager represents all that is great about CBS News,” said Moonves. “He is one of the most accomplished and trusted journalists in the world, and is now leading what is widely recognized as the greatest news broadcast in history to new levels of excellence and success. Now we’re asking him to bring that vast wealth of experience, passion and judgment to the challenges and opportunities that face our storied News Division. I can think of no better person to maintain and build upon the great history of CBS News and bring it into a bright and competitive future.”
“It’s an exciting opportunity to have worked here as long as I have,” Fager said, “and now to be in a position to guide CBS News into the future, along with someone as smart and talented as David Rhodes. I think it’s also a credit to the fine people of 60 MINUTES, and our executive editor Bill Owens, that the news judgment and values that go into every 60 MINUTES broadcast will have an important influence on CBS News. I also look forward to the opportunity to work closely with Leslie Moonves and thank him for this opportunity.”
David Rhodes has been the head of U.S. Television for Bloomberg since November 2008, managing the channel’s programming, development, editorial, newsgathering, production and operations. In that post, he directed a staff of more than 200 in the United States, based at the company’s New York headquarters. Prior to joining Bloomberg, Rhodes worked for 12 years at Fox News, starting at the channel’s inception in 1996 as a Production Assistant. At the time of his departure, Rhodes was Vice President of News, managing all of the channel’s day-to-day news operations and domestic bureaus, with a particular emphasis on breaking news and political coverage.
“We are extremely pleased that David Rhodes will be joining Jeff at the helm of CBS News,” Moonves said. “David is a tremendously talented and dynamic new voice in our organization, and he has already made a name for himself as a superb journalist and news executive with great energy, credibility and dedication. We believe he will make a huge contribution to the culture of CBS News, to its daily operations and vision, and will also offer fresh insights and a new point of view on the way we do things. In a changing business, that can only add to our strength.”
“The world needs great broadcast journalism right now—and we’re going to work tirelessly to produce that at CBS News,” said Rhodes. “I’ve enjoyed getting to know Jeff Fager, and hear his extraordinary passion for the institution. I can’t wait to meet the rest of the team and get started.”
Before his work at 60 MINUTES, and later as the founding producer of 60 MINUTES II, Fager was the executive producer of the CBS EVENING NEWS WITH DAN RATHER from 1996 to 1998, leading the broadcast’s highly praised rededication to hard news, enterprise reporting and increased foreign coverage. By the time he left to start 60 MINUTES II, the CBS EVENING NEWS had gained more than one million viewers over the previous year. Fager was also the senior broadcast producer for the CBS EVENING NEWS between 1994 and 1996, covering many major international stories, including the war in Bosnia and the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Prior to that, he was a producer for 60 MINUTES from 1989 to 1994, primarily working with correspondents Morley Safer and Steve Kroft, and was part of the original team that developed and launched 48 HOURS, the primetime CBS News magazine.
Between 1983 and 1988, Fager served as a producer on the CBS EVENING NEWS and was based in London and New York covering numerous international stories, including the Palestinian-Israeli conflicts in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan; the bombing of Libya in 1986; and the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe. He joined CBS News from KPIX-TV San Francisco, where he was a broadcast producer, and began his career as a production assistant in Boston in 1977 at the CBS station, WBZ-TV.
David Rhodes joined Bloomberg after 12 years at Fox. Over the course of his time there, he was a member of election night decision teams beginning in 2002; managed international projects with a particular emphasis on war assignments and newsgathering arrangements in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Gulf region; and directed the channel’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 as well as other major events. He was managing the network’s assignment desk on the morning of September 11, 2001.
About CBS News
CBS News is the news and information arm of CBS Corporation, dedicated to providing the best in journalism under standards it pioneered at the dawn of radio and television and continues to set in today’s digital age. Headquartered in New York, CBS News includes bureaus across the globe and influential, critically acclaimed programs that provide newsmaking features and interviews, investigative reports, analysis and breaking news 24 hours a day, seven days a week, utilizing a multi-platform model for news distribution across television (CBS Television Network), radio (CBS Radio Network), the Internet (CBSNews.com) and hand-held devices (CBS Mobile). CBS News’ multiple award-winning programs include its flagship daily news program, THE CBS EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC; #1 news magazine, 60 MINUTES; fastest-growing network morning program, THE EARLY SHOW; top-rated true-crime magazine show, 48 HOURS MYSTERY; newsmaking Washington public-affairs show, FACE THE NATION; and #1 Sunday morning program, SUNDAY MORNING. Other CBS News originals range from CBS Radio’s WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP, broadcasting’s longest-running program, to CBSNews.com’s innovative new webcasts and blogs, available at www.cbsnews.com.
About CBS Corporation
CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) is a mass media company with constituent parts that reach back to the beginnings of the broadcast industry, as well as newer businesses that operate on the leading edge of the media industry. The Company, through its many and varied operations, combines broad reach with well-positioned local businesses, all of which provide it with an extensive distribution network by which it serves audiences and advertisers in all 50 states and key international markets. It has operations in virtually every field of media and entertainment, including broadcast television (CBS and The CW – a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), cable television (Showtime Networks and CBS College Sports Network), local television (CBS Television Stations), television production and syndication (CBS Television Studios, CBS Studios International and CBS Television Distribution), radio (CBS Radio), advertising on out-of-home media (CBS Outdoor), publishing (Simon & Schuster), interactive media (CBS Interactive), music (CBS Records), licensing and merchandising (CBS Consumer Products), video/DVD (CBS Home Entertainment), motion pictures (CBS Films) and sustainable media (EcoMedia). For more information, please visit www.cbscorporation.com.