CBS Research Guru Poltrack Set to Retire in June 2019

David Poltrack, who has been with CBS for 50 years, is stepping down as chief research officer and president of CBS Vision effective June 30, 2019.

Radha Subramanyam, who was named executive VP, chief research and analytics officer for the CBS Television Network in November 2017, will oversee all research operations, including audience measurement, market research, program testing and advertising research immediately.

During the transition period, Poltrack will focus on research initiatives involving media consumption and brand equity of broadcast networks in new media and the long-term outlook for media. He will report to interim CEO Joe Ianniello.

Related: Parsons Steps Down as Interim Chairman and Director at CBS

“Dave is a legend in the field of research and our business overall,” said Ianniello. “Back in 2014, Dave came forward and said he wanted to step aside in his 50th year at CBS. With today’s news, I am pleased to say he has reached this remarkable milestone...and what an extraordinary 50 years it’s been.”

Poltrack joined CBS in 1969. In 2001 Poltrack opened the CBS Television City Research Center at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. This unique research center provides CBS with ongoing consumer feedback on changes in media consumption, new technology adoption and, most importantly, viewing and engagement with our programming.

“As we look to the future, we are very fortunate to have Radha, one of our industry’s brightest minds in research and data analytics, help lead us towards accurate measurement of our entire audience across every platform, a business imperative,” Ianniello said. “I am confident her extensive expertise will keep CBS at the forefront of innovation and advances in this critical area.”

Poltrack’s retirement announcement follows the departure of CEO Les Moonves and a similar retirement announcement by public relations head Gil Schwartz as the company starts to install new leadership at an uncertain time for the company.

Controlled by the Redstone family, there is speculation that CBS will either be sold or combined with Viacom, also controlled by the Redestones.

“I am grateful to Dave for his invaluable contributions to our sales efforts, as well as his undying passion for the media business and his commitment to innovation, and for always striving to get it right with the utmost integrity,” added Jo Ann Ross, president and chief advertising revenue officer, CBS Corporation. “Dave is a dear friend and confidant and the definition of a true gentleman and a scholar. His many years of loyalty, leadership and dedication are second to none, and his impact on CBS – and the industry as a whole – has been immeasurable. I look forward to working with him a bit longer before he retires in June.”

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.