G. McConway
August 14, 2023

CBS News Chief to Step Down

It would appear that CNN is not the only network that is going through some growing pains.

CBS News co-president Neeraj Khemlani, who has led the network during a rather tumultuous time, has decided to resign.

The resignation comes after a week of rumors that Khemlani was being monitored by human resources due to various complaints.

He’s Out

The last two years have been quite the ride, as Khemlani’s style apparently does not mesh with the personalities at CBS News.

The all came to a head at the end of July when the New York Post ran a report that human resources at CBS News had received a slew of complaints about his alleged “bullying, rude” behavior.

Since then, it was also rumored that Khemlani was being monitored by human resources for said behavior.

The Post ran a follow-up story that Khemlani had been calling his closest allies to let them know that he was out at CBS News.

The note reportedly stated, “(I am) looking forward to slipping my reporter’s notebook back into my pocket and heading out on a new adventure,” reported the New York Post.

His note continued, “We maintained the #1 position of our iconic weekend programs, successfully developed and launched business plans to grow digital revenue that will sustain CBS News for the next generation, and elevated and promoted so many of the people who work here day after day to deliver on our journalistic mission.

“I’m so proud of what all of you have accomplished — the scores of journalistic wins, the superb storytelling, the creativity that enhanced every aspect of our programming — that has put this division on a stronger path forward.”

Since then, a memo was sent out by CBS CEO George Cheeks, who was the one to bring in Khemlani. According to his memo, this transition had been on the table for “some time.”

According to reports, Wendy McMahon, Khemlani’s co-president who runs the CBS Television Stations and CBS News Digital divisions, is at the top of the list to take over the position.

There have been rumors of unrest for some time, but the straw that broke the camel’s back apparently happened back in April when Khemlani blew up at female staffers during a budget meeting. CFO Stacey Branson and another female executive were the target of his venom.

Khemlani was under the gun when he first started, tasked with getting the budget in line, and he immediately had friction with some of the biggest personalities at the network.

There have also been reports that he has been volatile with women and people of color, in particular.

That aside, he reportedly had a quick temper, which drove morale straight into the gutter. These executives do not seem to understand that yelling, stomping your feet, and throwing things no longer work in today’s environment.

Cheeks noted that while Khemlani may be gone, his game plan appears to be left in place, which was a major focus on streaming services to generate more revenue.

Virtually every network has a spin-off for a subscription service, so this is a long-time coming.

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