CBS News Head Steps Down

Susan Zirinsky will replace David Rhodes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 7, 2019 2:31 AM CST
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In this Aug. 10, 2015 photo, David Rhodes, then president of CBS' news division, participates in the CBS News panel at the CBS Summer TCA Tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – CBS said Sunday that its news division president, David Rhodes, is stepping down following a troubled year that saw morning anchor Charlie Rose and the top executive at 60 Minutes lose their jobs following misconduct reports. He is being replaced by veteran producer Susan Zirinsky. Zirinsky, who started work at CBS in the Washington bureau as a 20-year-old in the early 1970s and is currently the executive producer at 48 Hours, will take over in March. "It's a very humbling and daunting role," Zirinsky, 66, tells the AP. "When you've been working someplace for 40 years, it's a moment." Rhodes will work as an adviser to CBS News after leaving, said interim CBS Corp. leader Joseph Ianniello.

Zirinsky says she's looking forward to the challenge of delivering news in a digital-heavy age heading into a new presidential election cycle. Zirinsky, who was the inspiration for Holly Hunter's character in the 1987 movie Broadcast News, will be the second woman to lead a network news division, following Deborah Turness at NBC News, NBC reports. In a memo to his staff, Rhodes said Sunday that "the new year is a time for renewal, for new goals. The world we cover is changing, how we cover it is changing—and it's the right time for me to make a change too." (Jeff Fager lost his job at 60 Minutes after sending a threatening message to a CBS reporter working on a story about misconduct allegations.)

(Read more CBS News stories.)

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