CBS News’ brand-new management team doesn’t officially take over until tomorrow, but it’s already earning high marks from former division president Andrew Heyward.
“It’s a really creative, innovative way to structure top management,” says Heyward, a consultant to media companies. “I give Leslie [Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS Corp.] a lot of credit for this.”
“This” is the unusual tandem of Bloomberg alum David Rhodes as CBS News president and ’60 Minutes’ executive producer Jeff Fager as chairman, a new title. In addition to topping the division’s flow chart, Fager will continue running ’60.’
Rhodes is a young (37) CBS outsider whose entire career has been in cable. Fager, 56, has spent more than half his life at CBS, where he is universally respected as a newsman and manager.
Frank Sesno, former CNN Washington bureau chief, labels the professional coupling “a dream team.”
“The boss understands the heritage, preserves the legacy, articulates the vision,” says Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. “The president brings in new blood, a new sensibility and a cable edge.”
The duo, announced Feb. 7, made its first major move Friday with the exit of Paul Friedman, executive vice president for news, and Barbara Fedida, head of talent and development. Neither departure was unexpected.
Friedman, in particular, was strongly disliked by the troops for his brusque management