CBS Chief George Cheeks: ‘We Are Committed to 10 P.M.’

CBS CEO George Cheeks at 2022 White House Correspndents' Dinner pre-reception
CBS president and CEO George Cheeks (Image credit: Mary Kouw/CBS via Getty Images)

CBS president and CEO George Cheeks made a stern declaration Wednesday at NAB Show New York, after a top-level station affiliate executive said that ABC and CBS would soon join NBC in giving the 10 p.m. hour back to their station constituents to program.

“We are committed to 10 p.m. and continuing our ratings success in that time period,” Cheeks said in a statement provided to Deadline.

Also read: NBC Once Again Ponders Giving the 10 p.m. Hour Back to Its Affiliates

The trade publication had reported from the NAB event earlier Wednesday remarks made by Hearst Television CEO Jordan Wertlieb. NBCUniversal conceded last month that it was seriously pondering a retreat from the 10 o’clock hour.

Asked in a panel session if he thought ABC and CBS would do the same, Wertlieb remarked, “I expect they will and I hope they will.”

Wertlieb also suggested that all three major networks, “Take those resources and invest it in a really strong 8 to 10 block and the entire ecosystem improves.”

Earlier this month, NBCU CEO Jeff Shell confirmed that NBC is pondering the change, but he said no decision has been made.

“We’re evaluating a lot of things,” he said. “I mean, when you look at the investment in Peacock — as I mentioned most of the investment is for our own programming putting it on Peacock — but if we’re being prudent operators, which we try to be, right, if you’re allocating a bunch of resources to one part of the business, you have to look at the allocation of resources to another’s. I don’t think we’re ready to make any decision on 10 o’clock or anything else.

“We have a lot of great shows at 10 o’clock,” Shell added. “We make a lot of money at 10 o’clock. We still have a lot of viewers at 10 o’clock. There’s no question throughout the day as linear declines, you’re going to have to make some trade-offs and we’ll be looking at that as our investors would want us to look at.” ■

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!