“In a poetic twist that follows the departure of multiple senior men who were accused of sexual assault and harassment, ‘48 Hours’ senior executive producer Susan Zirinsky will become the first woman to lead CBS News,” reports Irin Carmon for New York Magazine’s Vulture.
The story adds: “President and acting CEO of CBS Corp. Joe Ianniello announced the regime change on Sunday evening. Current CBS News president David Rhodes, whom Zirinsky replaces, issued a statement confirming the news. ‘The new year is a time for renewal, for new goals,” he wrote. “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.’ Rhodes will vacate his position on March 1 and move into the role of senior advisor to Ianniello and the News division.”
“Zirinsky, known universally at CBS as Z, is a network lifer, having begun as a desk assistant in Washington at the age of 20,” Vulture reports. “She is what has emerged as a rare commodity at CBS: a respected newsroom leader and consummate insider who hasn’t been publicly tarnished by a sexual harassment scandal.
“In an interview with the LA Times, Zirinsky acknowledged the context. ‘The #MeToo movement isn’t behind us, it’s alongside us in our thinking. There will be a new and more powerful human resources person in the news division that is working on culture change. It’s really important to me to have an environment where there is transparency, where you can talk, where there are reactions based on actions.’”
Zirinsky was the inspiration for the Holly Hunter character in the 1987 movie “Broadcast News.”