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CBS News Launches Non-Fiction See It Now Studios Headed by Susan Zirinsky

Susan Zirinsky See It Now Studios CBS
Susan Zirinsky (Image credit: CBS)

CBS News said it is launching See It Now Studios, headed by former CBS News president Susan Zirinsky. The studio will produce news, documentary and unscripted programming.

Named after See It Now, the series produced by legendary newsman Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly starting in 1951, the studio has produced two documentaries on 9/11 that will appear on Paramount Plus and CBS this week. It is also working on a four-part series about Ghislaine Maxwell, who is at the center of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, for Paramount Plus, and a six-part series about the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol.

CBS announced in April that it was combining CBS News and the CBS Television Stations into a single division headed by Neeraj Khemlani and Wendy McMahon. It said Zirinsky, who had been head of CBS News since 2019, was in discussions about a new CBS News content studio.

“See It Now Studios will deliver premium, impactful non-fiction series and unscripted programming,” said Zirinsky, an esteemed CBS News producer and a model for Holly Hunter’s character in Broadcast News before becoming president of the division. “We’ve got a slate of powerful projects that use immersive storytelling to illuminate people and places that rarely grant access. These are strong, story-driven projects, with engaging narratives and compelling characters that will keep viewers watching. All told through with the high-quality standards set by CBS News.”

Zirinsky was inducted into the Broadcasting+Cable Hall of Fame in 2019.

Joining Zirinsky at See It Now Studios are senior executive producer of content oversight Terence Wrong and Aysu Saliba as supervising producer, development. Grace Kim is the unit’s production manager and Amy Gardner is an associate producer. Zirinsky will also draw on executive producer Mitch Weitzner and his team of Sasha Reuther and Danielle Levy. 

The studio will also create spinoffs of CBS News brands, building on the reporting and resources of CBS News, and produce “insta-docs” in the wake of monumental current events in collaboration with the CBS News and Stations division.

Zirinsky will report to George Cheeks, president and CEO of CBS and chief content officer, news and sports for Paramount Plus.

“This is a studio built on the foundation of the incredible journalism and storytelling of CBS News but with a broader remit,” said Cheeks. “See It Now Studios will have the flexibility to work across a range of production formats and concepts to meet the growing needs of linear and streaming platforms, including producing premium documentary content for Paramount Plus. There is no one better to lead this new unit than the journalistic and producing force of nature that is Susan Zirinsky. She and her team have already hit the ground running.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting + Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.