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Reynolds Exit Creates Big-Ticket Vacancy

With Fred Reynolds, president and CEO of the Viacom Television Stations Group, exiting, the local broadcast industry is waiting anxiously to learn who will be the next head of Viacom’s 40 TV stations.

Top candidates include Dennis Swanson, currently EVP and COO, and Tom Kane, president of sales, though Swanson is said to happy where he is.
Reynolds lured Swanson out of retirement several years ago after Reynolds' left WNBC to come run Viacom’s stations. Swanson’s background is more in programming and news, while Kane is seasoned on the sales side. Another scenario has the two executives dividing Reynolds duties.

A CBS spokesperson said no decision has been made on a replacement.

Reynolds, who has headed the group since 2001, will become president and chief operating officer of Evercore Partners, a strategic and financial-advisory services company that manages about $1.25 billion of private equity and venture capital.

There had been speculation that Reynolds, who will move into the new role in early August, would lead financial affairs for the CBS half of the company once Les Moonves’ side of the business officially split into the new entity.

Reynolds had formerly served as executive VP and CFO of CBS and Westinghouse Electric. He will report to Evercore's co-CEOs, Roger Altman and Austin Beutner.

Said Reynolds, who announced his departure to his staff Monday, "Only a firm where I have such long and strong relationships as I enjoy with Roger and Austin, where there is a remarkable cadre of world class senior partners and professionals, and where there is clear opportunity to contribute to meaningful growth, could have attracted me from Viacom.

"Evercore presented a uniquely appealing situation. I enjoyed every bit of my almost 12 wonderful years there, as well as great relations with so many people who will continue to make Viacom the terrific company it is."

Prior to Westinghouse, Reynolds was with Pepsico for 12 years in various capacities, including chief financial officer. He also held posts at Pizza Hut, Pepsi Cola International, Kentucky Fried Chicken Worldwide, and Frito-Lay, both domestic and international.