CBS names Wendy McMahon as president of CBS News and Stations, CBS Media Ventures

By Michael P. Hill Article may include affiliate links

CBS has named Wendy McMahon to lead its news and local television station group following news that her co-president Neeraj Khemlani would exit his role.

McMahon will be president and CEO of CBS News and Stations as well as CBS Media Ventures, the network’s syndication arm that is also responsible for content licensing and advertising sales for programming it distributes.

“At every turn since joining CBS, Wendy has used her unique skill set as an innovator, business operator and people leader to energize operations, support our best-in-class journalism and position CBS for its multiplatform future,” said George Cheeks, president and chief executive officer of CBS, said in a statement. “She is a dynamic leader with clear vision who generates forward momentum in every business she touches. I’m excited for the future of CBS News, our local stations and our valuable syndication franchises under her leadership.”

McMahon’s role, which marks a new corporate structure, essentially combines what would often be considered three different jobs. Traditionally, networks have separate leaders for its news division, owned stations group and other entities such as syndication or programming.

CBS, which is owned by Paramount Global, had already broken the mold in 2021 when it restructured its news division and owned stations group under a single entity. It also made the unique move to name two co-leaders to lead the combined division.

All told, McMahon will be responsible for 27 local stations, 14 regional news streaming offerings, the network-level news division and its streamer plus syndication responsibilities.

CBS refers to its nationwide news streamer as “CBS News”, having previously been known as CBSN.

CBS Media Ventures distributes programs such as “The Drew Barrymore Show” and repeat episodes of “Judge Judy” and “Dr. Phil” plus reworked episodes of CBS News’ true crime newsmagazine “48 Hours” as part of a recently announced deal. The division also sells advertising to national accounts that airs within select slots during many of the shows it syndicates.

Following the Aug. 14, 2023, announcement, McMahon named longtime staffer Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews as president.

Under the previous leadership structure, CBS News and Stations completed a transition to a shared graphics package at its local stations, which also included key rebranding strategies in select markets. It also moved to a group graphics team model. The local looks brought stations in-line with the network-level design that had been rolling out since 2020.

His tenure also included launching a local news operation in Detroit, where CBS-owned WWJ had not aired significant local news content since 2002.