After eight years, CBS News President David Rhodes is stepping down and will be replaced by CBS News executive Susan Zirinsky.
“It’s been eight incredible years since I joined @CBS. I’m pleased to announce that I’ll soon be handing the reins @CBSNews to Susan Zirinsky, our Senior Executive Producer,” Rhodes announced Sunday night.
— David Rhodes (@davidgrayrhodes) January 7, 2019
“After March 1 I’ll be a Senior Advisor to @CBS CEO and to @CBSNews,” he went on. “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 #2019goals.”
The news came in the midst of the airing of the 76th Golden Globe Awards which was airing on NBC. Rhodes’ contract was up in February, and reports suggest his departure was expected as the company has faced sliding ratings and sexual misconduct scandals.
CEO Joe Ianniello let CBS News staffers in on the news in an email shortly after Rhodes’ announcement, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “For those who may not know, Susan has touched virtually every division and every CBS News broadcast over the decades she’s worked here,” he wrote. Ianniello praised Zirinsky’s history of moving up through the company.
Three top CBS News divisions have dropped in ratings: CBS This Morning, Face the Nation, and CBS Evening News. The divisions have seen anchor changes following sexual misconduct allegations.
November 2017 saw the ouster of CBS This Morning anchor Charlie Rose over misconduct allegations. The Hollywood Reporter noted, “The show has lost about 500,000 viewers since Rose’s exit.” The company has faced more investigations as well as the scandal involving Les Moonves, who was ousted just months ago.
The Reporter cited CBS sources who said there has been ongoing miscommunication between management and staff as well as ongoing investigations have been wearing on morale.