Moonves Tweaks Heyward in Times Magazine Article

Aug 31, 2005  •  Post A Comment

CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves has said to colleagues that CBS News President Andrew Heyward may not be able to lead the “revolution” he thinks is essential for CBS News to attract more and younger viewers to the third-place “CBS Evening News,” according to an article that will appear in this weekend’s New York Times Sunday Magazine.

The article points out that Mr. Moonves “genuinely likes and respects [Mr.] Heyward,” but has been frustrated with the news division.

Mr. Moonves told author Lynn Hirschberg that the “Evening News” has to fall somewhere between “two boring people behind a desk” and Britain’s racy “The Big Breakfast” and “Naked News.”

“We have to break the mold. We don’t have a choice,” Mr. Moonves is quoted as having said to Ms. Hirschberg, who writes that Mr. Moonves has pushed Mr. Heyward this summer to “be less conservative in his thinking” as he shoots prototypes for a revamped “Evening News.”

“The news anchor Andrew wants to use is not surprising,” Mr. Moonves told Ms. Hirschberg, referring to White House correspondent John Roberts. “That’s bothering me.”

According to Ms. Hirschberg, the eventual prototype is likely to include such elements as humorous segments and interactive elements involving viewers.

“It’s like pornography: I’ll know it when I see it,” Mr. Moonves said.