CBS Station GMs Out in Los Angeles, Chicago as Investigation Ends

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(Image credit: CBS)

An investigation into leadership misconduct at the CBS-owned station group has concluded, and the group is seeking new general managers in Los Angeles and Chicago. Jay Howell took on the general manager position at KCBS-KCAL Los Angeles in 2019. Derek Dalton was named WBBM Chicago general manager in 2018. Both are departing the CBS group. 

In an internal memo, Wendy McMahon, president and co-head, CBS News and Stations, mentioned “an extremely thorough and exhaustive review of our organization and culture” that went on for six months. McMahon said the search for new station chiefs in Los Angeles and Chicago begins immediately. 

Peter Dunn was president of the CBS station group, until he was put on administrative leave in January amidst an investigation into management issues raised in the Los Angeles Times. He departed in April along with David Friend, the station group’s senior VP of news.

McMahon and Neeraj Khemlani started as presidents and co-heads of the united CBS News and CBS Television Stations divisions in May. 

“I want to thank everyone who took the time to talk to the investigators,” said McMahon. “Your care and concern for your colleagues … and your courage … have enabled us to move forward.”

George Cheeks, president and CEO of CBS, called it a difficult period for the station group, in which “painful revelations about experiences that we cannot tolerate” were revealed. “Your candor and perspective were invaluable, and I appreciate the courage it took for you to come forward,” he said in a memo. “We were committed from the outset to ensuring every voice would be heard, without fear of retribution, no matter how long the process took.”

Cheeks said the group’s diversity, equity and inclusion standards are a top priority for leadership. Workplace culture needs to improve, he added, and employees’ trust in their management needs to be restored. 

“Wendy, Neeraj and I are committed to earning your trust – working with all of you and your local leaders to build on the steps we’ve taken and achieve these important goals together,” Cheeks said. 

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the L.A. Times and New York magazine.