ViacomCBS has announced that George Cheeks has been appointed President and CEO of CBS Entertainment Group, effective March 23rd. He succeeds Joe Ianniello, Chairman and CEO of CBS, who will be leaving the US commercial broadcaster after 22 years. Ianniello will work with the Company to ensure a smooth transition.
Cheeks joins ViacomCBS from NBCUniversal, where he most recently served as Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal Content Studios. In his new role, Cheeks will lead CBS-branded assets, including CBS Television Network, which encompasses CBS Entertainment, CBS News and CBS Sports, CBS Television Studios and CBS Television Stations and CBS’ first-run syndication business. He will also partner with the ViacomCBS digital organisation on the CBS-branded digital assets, including CBS All Access. Cheeks will report to Bob Bakish, President and CEO of ViacomCBS.
“I am thrilled to welcome George back to the family at this exciting moment for ViacomCBS,” said Bakish. “Throughout his career, George has built broad experience in broadcast and studio operations and brings a unique mix of skills – combining deep commercial expertise and industry relationships with strong creative and programming capabilities. With his finger on the pulse of culture and change and his strong grasp of strategy, brands, audiences and content monetization, George will help CBS build on its position as the most-watched broadcast network and drive results across the entire CBS portfolio.
Bakish continued: “I’m grateful to Joe for his many contributions to CBS and for the meaningful role he has played in bringing the CBS and Viacom teams together. Thanks in no small part to his efforts, the CBS brand has a strong and loyal following across a variety of platforms – positioning it well for this important next chapter. The Board and I wish Joe every success in his future endeavours.”
“I am very pleased to be able to leave CBS well positioned for long-term success,” added Ianniello. “Throughout my 22-year tenure I have always said that the quality and integrity of the people of CBS are what make it great. We have extraordinary employees at all levels of this organisation, and I couldn’t be prouder of how they do their jobs day in and day out. Working with Bob, I now look forward to ensuring a smooth transition to the next phase of leadership of CBS, so that the Eye can continue to thrive, just as it has for so long.”
Cheeks said: “I am incredibly honoured to join the stellar CBS team and help lead these incredible brands forward. From news to sports to entertainment, CBS sets the standard, and I look forward to building on this tremendous foundation as we find new and innovative ways to deliver CBS to audiences worldwide.”