CBS Searching For Successor To News Division Chief Susan Zirinsky

CBS is searching for a successor to succeed Susan Zirinsky to lead its news division.

Zirinsky plans to step down after a two-year tenure as president of CBS News, according to sources. The Wall Street Journal first reported on her plans, and that she is nearing a deal to take a production partnership with parent ViacomCBS.

In addition to her title as president of CBS News, Zirinsky has also retained her title of senior executive producer. She first joined the network in 1972, and she has had a legendary career as news producer.

Zirinsky and a CBS News spokesperson declined to comment.

During her tenure as CBS News president, Zirinsky overhauled the news division, moving CBS Evening News to Washington, D.C. with a new anchor, Norah O’Donnell, and executive producer, Jay Shaylor. Her changes also included a shakeup of the CBS This Morning anchor team, with Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil  joining Gayle King and the hiring of Shawna Thomas as the show new executive producer. Although both programs are still in third place, the network has promoted the narrowing of the ratings gap with their rivals.

Zirinsky also had to manage the news division during the coronavirus pandemic, including a crisis last March when the closure of CBS Broadcast Center, where positive cases had been reported. required the relocation of news broadcasts to other locations.

Zirinsky’s departure would be the latest shakeup at the broadcast network news divisions. Last year, Andrew Lack stepped down from his post as chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, with Cesar Conde tapped as chairman of the NBC Universal News Group, adding oversight of CNBC. James Goldston stepped down as president of ABC News as of March 31, and sources said that the network has selected Kim Godwin, a longtime CBS News executive, to succeed him.

Meanwhile, CNN president Jeff Zucker announced plans to step down at the end of this year. At MSNBC, Rashida Jones succeeded Phil Griffin as president as of Feb. 1.

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