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CBS names two new presidents of unified news and television division

Wendy McMahon and Neeraj Khemlani will become the presidents and co-heads of a unified CBS News and CBS Television Stations division, the company announced Thursday. CBS News President Susan Zirinsky, who has led the network’s newsgathering for more than two years, is in discussions for a “significant” role at a new CBS News Content Studio, the company said.

“Ms. McMahon and Mr. Khemlani, who will each assume their roles as presidents and co-heads of the new group early next month, will partner on managing all aspects of the division, bringing their wide range of broadcast, local and digital experience to their positions,” CBS said in a statement announcing the decision. 

McMahon comes to CBS from her role as president of the ABC Owned Television Stations Group, and Khemlani was most recently executive vice president and deputy group head at Hearst Newspapers. Both have previously worked for CBS: Khemlani was once a producer at “60 Minutes” and “60 Minutes II,” and McMahon previously worked at WBZ Boston and WCCO Minneapolis. 

The unified division helmed by McMahon and Khemlani will manage CBS News, its 28 owned stations, CBSN and CBSN local platforms. 

Zirinsky, known as “Z” within the company, will continue to serve as the president of CBS News until McMahon and Khemlani take over. CBS said the company is “in discussions” with Zirinsky “for a significant role at a new CBS News Content Studio to be launched later this year,” but did not provide additional details. 

Zirinsky became the first woman to lead CBS News when she took the reins in March 2019. She joined the company in 1972 and held numerous positions through her decades-long tenure, including the senior executive producer of “48 Hours.” She has worked as a producer at the White House and on “CBS Evening News,” and led several special reports, including coverage of the Tiananmen Square uprising in 1989.   

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