January 7, 2019 / 4:24 AM / a month ago

CBS News head David Rhodes steps down, Susan Zirinsky to take over

(Reuters) - CBS News President David Rhodes is stepping down and Susan Zirinsky, a senior executive producer, will take over the president’s role from March, the company said on Sunday.

FILE PHOTO: The CBS broadcasting logo is seen outside their headquarters in Manhattan, New York, U.S., July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

Rhodes will remain in the media firm through March 1, after which he will assume the role of a senior adviser to its parent company CBS Corp (CBS.N) CEO Joe Ianniello, and to the News Division, Rhodes wrote in the memo.

“The new year is a time for renewal, for new goals. 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 said in an internal memo seen by Reuters.

A veteran journalist, Zirinsky began her career in the Washington bureau two weeks after the Watergate break-in and produced a wide variety of award-winning documentaries and programs over the next four decades.

The exit of Rhodes, who spent eight years with CBS, comes after some senior departures at the company in the recent past.

In September last year, CEO Leslie Moonves resigned amid a wave of allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

Last month, the company denied Moonves of a $120 million severance package following a board review of the findings of an investigation into Moonves’ behavior and the CBS culture conducted by two law firms hired by CBS.

CBS suspended Charlie Rose, co-anchor of its morning show and “60 Minutes” in November 2017 after several women accused him of harassment and misconduct and fired him last September.

Jeff Fager, “60 Minutes” executive producer, was also fired in September after threatening a CBS News reporter investigating allegations of harassment of colleagues.

Moonves has denied any wrongdoing and has described his sexual encounters as consensual.

The departure of the CBS News president was first reported by the Los Angeles Times on Sunday.

Reporting by Mekhla Raina in Bengaluru and Kenneth Li in New York; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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