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CBS CEO Les Moonves: ‘Great Drama Belongs In Primetime… Not At 7 In The Morning’

CBS is delivering its upfront presentation to advertisers, media buyers and the press this afternoon, and CEO Les Moonves took aim squarely at NBC and “Today” in his opening statement.

“We believe that great drama belongs in primetime between 8-11 PM, not at 7 in the morning,” Moonves quipped, as a photo of Ann Curry and Matt Lauer from Curry’s departure from “Today” appeared on stage behind him (see the photo to the left).

Of course, “CBS This Morning” also had a talent change in the last year, as Erica Hill left (eventually joining NBC) and Norah O’Donnell came on board. That said, the transition was free of drama in front of the cameras.

CBS News was given prime placement at the upfront, with Moonves introducing the division. The CBS CEO said that “under the leadership of Jeff Fager and David Rhodes there is a renaissance going on,” before introducing a clip reel with news from the last year. Scott Pelley and O’Donnell then appeared on stage to talk about CBS News.

“Through all of this what has kept CBS News ahead is original reporting,” Pelley said, referencing the new CBS News tagline “Original. Reporting.” “It is the soul of what we do.”

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