CBS sacked leaders of O&O stations in Los Angeles and Chicago after concluding a six-month investigation into allegations of misconduct at the CBS Television group.
Jay Howell is the general manager of KCBS-TV and KCAL-TV Los Angeles, as well as Derek Dalton at WBBM-TV Chicago. The termination was revealed in a memo Thursday about the conclusions of an investigation led by the Los Angeles Times that revealed hostile working conditions for women and people of color at several CBS O& Os.
In April, former CBS Television President Peter Dunn and David Friend, Senior Vice President of News, were forced out amid allegations that they made discriminating comments. racism against journalists and reporters, and block efforts to retain and promote Black journalists, among other charges.
Howell and Dalton’s departures were confirmed in memos sent Thursday from CBS president and CEO George Cheeks and Wendy McMahon, CBS’s newly appointed president and co-director of CBS News and Stations. (The management of CBS News and CBS Television Station was combined after Dunn was ousted.)
“The investigation cited painful revelations about experiences that we cannot tolerate today or in the future,” Cheeks wrote in a memo to employees. “Although the investigation primarily looks at past events, and issues are more clearly revealed in certain areas and at more specific stations than others, there are clear issues we need to address in the future: our standards of diversity, equity and inclusion should be a top priority for leadership in all areas of our Station business; our workplace culture needs to improve in a measurable way; and, your trust needs to be restored with your CBS leaders. “
McMahon, the Disney veteran who was appointed in April along with Neeraj Khemlani, acknowledged the “multiple emotions” employees expressed after a lengthy investigation into troubling allegations of sexual misconduct. racial insensitivity and bullying culture.
“George, Neeraj and I We committed to leading with transparency, respect and inclusion… to foster a spirit of collaboration and innovation… to do the right thing for our unified organization and team as we reimagine our brand and your business in a time of tremendous change,” wrote McMahon.
Cheeks pointed to CBS’s decision to bring in new leadership at the top and in key markets. The awakening fueled by internal polling will also be reflected in each station’s priorities in terms of news and lifestyle.
“We have refocused our local priorities on content, culture and community connections, paying particular attention to reflecting and representing our local audience,” wrote Cheeks.
Howell has been with KCBS/KCAL since June 2019. He has also run stations for CBS in Pittsburgh, Pa. And Sacramento, California. Dalton joined WBBM in 2018 after working with Hubbard Broadcasting and Tribune Broadcasting.
https://variety.com/2021/tv/news/cbs-fired-executives-misconduct-la-chicago-1235026065/ | CBS Ousts Two More Station Executives After Harassment Probe