NEW YORK – CBS on Monday appointed executive Wendy McMahon to an expanded role that puts her in charge of the network's news division, its locally owned stations and its syndication business.
For slightly more than two years, McMahan has worked in tandem with Neeraj Khemlani, leading the network's storied news division and the news operations at the 14 network affiliates it owns, in cities like New York and Los Angeles.
Khemlani said on Sunday that he was stepping down as co-president of CBS News and Stations. The impending retirement of Steve LoCascio, president of CBS Media Ventures, will give McMahon a bigger job that includes overseeing syndicated programs like “Jeopardy!,” “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Drew Barrymore Show.”
One of her first steps on Monday was appointing 30-year CBS News veteran Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews to lead the news division. Ciprian-Matthews was most recently executive vice president of newsgathering at CBS News.
McMahon has moved aggressively to boost the news operations at local CBS stations, pushing them to emphasize more solutions-based journalism. Los Angeles has recently launched a seven-hour morning news franchise.
The network news division generally runs third behind ABC and NBC in the ratings. CBS executives have lately concentrated on revamping the CBS News morning show, and bringing some outside talent, including Cecilia Vega,Robert Costa,Lisa Ling and Natalie Morales.
Khemlani was dogged by reports of an abrasive management style that offended some underlings. He's remaining at CBS in a production capacity to create documentaries, scripted series and books for Simon & Schuster, which CBS parent company Paramount recently agreed to sell to private equity firm KKR.
The elevation of Ciprian-Matthews means women are in charge at the nation's top television news operations. She joins ABC News President Kim Godwin and Rebecca Blumenstein, head of editorial at NBC News. Suzanne Scott is the Fox News CEO and Rashida Jones is president of MSNBC. CNN is searching for a new leader, although Amy Entelis is the senior executive of the four-person team running the network during the interim.