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Posts Tagged ‘Les Moonves’

Jeff Fager Stepping Down as Chairman of CBS News, Returns Fulltime to ’60 Minutes’

FagerJeff Fager is leaving his role as chairman of CBS News and turning his “full attention” to “60 Minutes.”

“It is hard to believe that it has been four years since Les asked me to take the job, but we agreed that when the time was right I would be able to return to ’60 Minutes’ full time,” Fager writes in a note to staff, obtained by TVNewser.

Fager has been at the helm of CBS News since February, 2011. At that time, Sean McManus left his dual role has head of CBS News and CBS Sports, and returned to CBS Sports fulltime. At the same time, David Rhodes joined as CBS News president. Rhodes had been head of Bloomberg TV and, before that, spent 12 years at Fox News.

“I hired [Rhodes] almost four years ago with this moment in mind, and he has exceeded all expectations,” Fager writes. Rhodes, 40, takes on sole leadership of the news division.

“60 Miuntes” has seen its share of bumps in the last year. An internal investigation into a 2013 Lara Logan report found the story “deficient in several respects.” In a more minor error, earlier this year the show apologized for selective audio editing in a story about Tesla.

Fager’s note after the jump…

More: Fager’s CBS News contract has been extended through 2019. “We would not be in such a strong position today were it not for Jeff’s leadership and his willingness four years ago to supplement his role at ’60 Minutes’ with the duties of chairman as David integrated himself into CBS News,” says CBS CEO Les Moonves. “I want to thank him for all he has done, and all I know he will do in the years to come.”

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Low-Key, Glitch-Free Launch of CBSN

CBSN2

It didn’t look like launch day at CBSN, and that’s a big achievement. Freed from the burden of launch day hoopla and high expectations, CBS News turned on its brand new live streaming news channel Thursday, and did so without a hitch. The motto is “Always On,” and for the bosses on West 57th Street, getting it on and keeping it on without a meltdown–not so much as a hiccup in the hours we watched–is a win for CBS News and the digital gurus at CBS Interactive.

Will it work? Who knows. But the potential is there, if CBS is willing to give CBSN time to evolve, experiment, and find its own pace and style. On day one, there’s little flash, no rush, and plenty of potential. Read more

Moonves on CBSN: ‘Plenty of Content at Not a Great Cost’

MoonvesCBSNCBS Corp. Chairman and CEO Les Moonves went on CNBC this morning to talk about his company’s quarterly earnings, negotiating a deal to keep CBS on DISH (the current contract expires Nov. 20) and the company’s latest venture: CBSN which launched at 9am this morning.

“CBS News is a phenomenal organization that has bureaus across the world, and producing a ton of content of which we don’t have enough air time to put it on. So, since we do not have a cable news network, and since the world is going online, we have the ability to put on a 24-hour news channel with anchors live, with plenty of content at not a great cost.”

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Rehearsals Continue for New CBS News 24-Hour Channel

jeff glorCBS News is getting closer to launching its streaming channel. TVNewser has learned rehearsals have been underway for several weeks with the hope of launching by election day, less than two weeks away. The exact launch date is in flux, we hear.

Jeff Glor, anchor of the Sunday edition of “CBS Evening News,” will be a primary anchor as will CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano. The channel will be based out CBS News headquarters on W. 57th Street. It’s not known yet how other talent, including “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley, will particpiate in the channel.

Last week, CBS became the first broadcast network to launch an internet TV service, without needing a cable subscription. CBS All Access will cost $5.99 a month and includes next-day access to new shows and past seasons of other CBS programs, as well as access to CBS’s local stations.

> More: CapitalNY reports that the channel will be called CBSN and that a marketing campaign will soon launch around the tagline “CBS News. Always On.”

CBS Eyes October Launch of Digital Channel

CBSEyesCBS News is in hiring mode for the new CBS News digital news channel and is looking at a launch in October, TVNewser has learned.

The channel is being championed by CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves, with CBS News president David Rhodes heading up the effort. Rhodes is a veteran of the cable game, having worked the early years at Fox News Channel and later as head of U.S. TV for Bloomberg.

We’re told Mosheh Oinounou, who worked with Rhodes at both Fox News and Bloomberg and Nancy Lane, head of editorial for CBSNews.com, are doing most of the candidate interviews. Lane is also a cable news veteran, having worked at CNN for 29 years. Oinounou has been with CBS since 2011. CBS is looking to have a staff of around 60 people for the launch, including interactive, technical and editorial, many plucked from current cable TV news ranks.

In May, Moonves told Bloomberg’s Trish Regan, “Wouldn’t it be a good idea to do a 24-hour digital channel taking all the resources that CBS News has…all over the world. And there is so much information that we get every day that doesn’t fit into a 22-minute newscast at 6:30, or ‘CBS This Morning.’ So we can do that.”

Les Moonves on Aereo: ‘It’s a Very Good Day for our Future’

ReganMoonvesBloomberg’s Trish Regan talked with CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves about the Supreme Court decision on Aereo. “We are very pleased,” says Moonves. “Justice was served. We expected to win, but it certainly feels good to win as decisively as we did.”

CBS was among the plaintiffs in the case along with other networks and local stations. “What Aereo was doing was not about technology, it was about theft,” Moonves said. He says the decision also protects broadcasters from “future Aereos.” WATCH:

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Les Moonves Confirms CBS is Developing Digital News Channel; David Rhodes Oversees

cbsnews304CBS is in the “early stages” of developing a 24-hour digital news network, CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves says. Appearing on Bloomberg today, Moonves told Trish Regan the digital channel will be “an exciting alternative to cable news.” BuzzFeed first reported in October that CBS was considering the idea of an all-news network.

“With all the content going digital right now, wouldn’t it be a good idea to do a 24-hour digital channel taking all the resources that CBS News has…all over the world. And there is so much information that we get every day that doesn’t fit into a 22-minute newscast at 6:30 or ‘CBS This Morning.’ So we can do that.”

CBS News president David Rhodes, who is a veteran of Fox News and Bloomberg TV, is heading up the effort.

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Barbara Walters Farewell: ‘True, I Was the First Female Co-Host… But Also True, I Was a Flop’

WaltersSawyerIt was a star-studded farewell for Barbara Walters at New York City’s Four Seasons restaurant tonight. From comedian Joan Rivers to commissioner Bill Bratton; from New York’s chronicler of scandal, Cindy Adams, to the man who plays the president on “Scandal,” Tony Goldwyn; from actor Woody Allen to attorney David Boies, But mostly, the pool room was packed with Walters’ fellow TV news colleagues and those ladies — past and present — from “The View.” Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd; Meredith Vieira and Joy Behar.

Following a best of Barbara video, Disney Chairman Bob Iger welcomed the crowd, before Walters delivered a few words of thanks and admitting it hasn’t always been easy. “True, I was the first female co-host of a network news program. But also true, I was a flop. My male co-host didn’t want a partner and neither did the audience. I was drowning, gasping for air. Then someone threw me that life preserver called Specials with the biggest stars in news and show business and I learned how to swim again.”

Current and former evening news anchors were there, including Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams who arrived with Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric and fiancé John Molner; and Connie Chung (who was part of an ill-fated co-anchor pairing with Dan Rather) and husband Maury Povich. We caught up with early risers Savannah Guthrie and George Stephanopoulos along with their spouses, Mike Feldman, and Ali Wentworth, respectively, as they were heading out. Guthrie’s “Today” colleague Al Roker and his wife, ABC correspondent Deborah Roberts made the rounds as well.

Walters continued: “I’m grateful to the legendary Roone Arledge for bringing me to ABC News; thankful to David Westin for his steady leadership; to Ben Sherwood – you made us all believe we could win and with your leadership and passion, we did; and James Goldston – I’m told that all our shows are number one at the moment – you should quit right now.” Sherwood, Goldston and Westin were all on hand, as were other ABC News executives including Barbara Fedida, David Sloan, Jeanmarie Condon and John Green.

We spotted Jenny McCarthy hand-in-hand with fiance Donnie Wahlberg; the “Nightline” team of Juju ChangDan Abrams, and Dan Harris as well as a host of correspondents and anchors from ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and Fox, including Elizabeth VargasAmy RobachDavid MuirNorah O’DonnellJon KarlGio Benitez, Dr. Richard Besser, Tory JohnsonRick Klein, Brian Ross, Mara Schiavocampo, Thomas RobertsAlicia MenendezHoda Kotb, Greta Van Susteren and Lisa Ling, a former “View” co-host, now woking on a new show for CNN.

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The AM Ticker: Licht, Nagler, Silberwasser

  • CBS Radio News VP Harvey Nagler will be awarded the John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award from the RTDNA. The award, to be presented at the RTDNA conference September in Nashville, recognizes an individual’s contributions to the journalism profession.

  • Luis Silberwasser has been named President of Telemundo Network. Silberwasser is currently EVP of Discovery Networks International based in London. He will report to Joe Uva, Chairman, of NBCU’s Hispanic Enterprises and Content and will be based in Miami.

‘The Proverbial Perfect Storm’ of Lara Logan’s Benghazi Report

LaraLogan304In an in-depth report for New York magazine, Joe Hagan pieces together “the proverbial perfect storm” that led to Lara Logan‘s now-infamous Benghazi report on “60 Minutes” last year. The piece focuses on Jeff Fager‘s leadership of “60 Minutes,” as well as Logan’s rapid rise at CBS News, reportedly orchestrated in part because CBS chairman Les Moonves saw her “steely eyes, breathless delivery, and exotic accent as the raw material of a future star.”

Logan “delivered the kind of muscular reports that inoculated CBS against charges of a leftist agenda following the Rather incident, especially valuable in the patriotic climate after 9/11,” Hagan writes:

As Logan rose, however, Fager was left to manage the risk inherent in Moonves’s asset. Logan had a zealousness that could cross the line into recklessness, a confidence that could come off as arrogance. A common view among current and former colleagues (keeping in mind that not-for-attribution backbiting and Schadenfreude are a stock-in-trade of TV news) is that Logan’s star power blinded her superiors to her flaws. “She got everything she wanted, always, even when she was wrong, and that’s been going on since the beginning,” says a former CBS News producer who worked with her.  Read more

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