The top-rated news program on television has long been the Sunday CBS flagship “60 Minutes.” That program has been under the watchful eye of executive producer Jeff Fager since 2004.
Today, CBS announced a shakeup at the top of CBS News, putting Fager in charge with the title of Chairman. David Rhodes joins CBS from Bloomberg. 37-year-old Rhodes has been named president of CBS News, with current News president Sean McManus exiting to focus on CBS Sports.
TVNewser spoke with Fager shortly after the announcement about his plans for CBS News, recruiting Rhodes, and his star anchor, Katie Couric.
TVNewser: Congratulations on the new role.
Jeff Fager: Thank you very much, it is exciting.
How did this come about?
Well, I have been talking to the boss, Leslie [Moonves] about it. He brought it up in the last couple of months. He has never wanted me to leave “60 Minutes,” I didn’t want to leave “60 Minutes,” so this is a really good solution to that.
Were you involved in recruiting David Rhodes from Bloomberg?
Yeah, I actually spent quite a bit of time with him in the past month. He is just such a tremendously interesting and smart guy. I will tell you, the fact that David is so capable made it a lot easier for me to do both jobs. He is one of the sharpest people I have known, and I think we have very similar sensibilities. We want to be proud of our broadcasts, and we want them to be the highest quality broadcast journalism out there, so much the way we feel about “60 Minutes.” It is the combination of David as president and Bill Owens as executive editor [at 60 Minutes] that really allows me to do both of these jobs.
Considering David came from Bloomberg, there has long been talk about CBS News talking to cable networks…