CBS News Names Susan Zirinsky First Female President

Zirinsky has been with the network for four decades in a variety of senior posts.

Producer Susan Zirinsky is replacing David Rhodes as president of CBS, becoming the first woman to ever head the network.

CBS Corp. acting Chief Executive Joseph Ianniello wanted to put Zirinsky into the role as Rhodes, who has been president of CBS News since 2011, is nearing the end of his contract. Rhodes was brought in by former CBS CEO Les Moonves, who was recently stripped of his $120-million severance over allegations of sexual misconduct, the Los Angeles Times reported.

 There were discussions last week within the network about Rhodes possibly taking on another position at CBS, but it was decided that he will depart in March after overseeing Zirinsky’s transition.
“Being a producer is my oxygen and the core of who I am,” Zirinsky said in an interview. “I’ve got to manage money and contracts, but management people will be there for me. My whole approach is as a producer and that’s what will differentiate us.”
The executive-level upheaval comes during one of the most turbulent times in the history of CBS, which like other media entities has been rocked by the #MeToo movement. The network also recently settled a lawsuit filed by three women who claimed they were sexually harassed by former CBS This Morning co-anchor Charlie Rose, who was ousted on Nov. 21, 2017.

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