Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Shock: CBS News Chief Out As Network is Sold in Paramount Deal, Leaving Two News Orgs Without Leaders


CBS News and ABC News no longer have news chiefs.

In the same month as the Republican Party Convention, in an election year, and with chaos in the Democratic Party, two of the four major broadcast news operations are without leaders.

Ingrid Ciprián-Matthews has announced her sudden exit from CBS after 30 years with the company. She’s been head of CBS News for less than a year.

She joins Kim Godwin, who left the ABC News post earlier this year. She has also not been replaced. Godwin is Black, Ciprian-Matthews is Latina, which made their rise to the top of their organizations historic.

But now one is in charge as thousands of media are getting ready to descend on Milwaukee for the RNC. More than ever, a bright light must be shined on what happens and is said at this convention, particularly with the rise of Project 2025 and the possibility that a second Trump election could damage democracy for good.

But Ciprian-Matthews’s ouster comes as CBS has been sold as part of the Paramount deal to David Ellison’s Skydance Studios for $26 billion. David’s father, Larry Ellison, a primary investor, is a mega Trump donor.

“We all know our industry and company are going through a transformation and a number of short- and long-term decisions need to be made,” Ciprián-Matthews wrote in a memo to CBS News employees. “I do not want to be disingenuous with any of you about who should drive these decisions. I’ve always leaned into my integrity and my values and I felt it was important to be transparent at this juncture about my plans.”

Even though CBS News runs in second or third place to ABC and NBC, the organization is still called The Tiffany Network. It has always been considered the TV News of record thanks to its legacy of Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, and Dan Rather, not to mention Don Hewitt’s “60 Minutes.” But the future is up in the air now.

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Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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