NEW YORK—CBS News is launching See It Now Studios, a new content provider that will produce news, documentary and unscripted programming for Paramount+, CBS, the ViacomCBS networks, international broadcasters and other content platforms.
Former CBS News president Susan Zirinsky has been named president of See It Now Studios and will report directly to George Cheeks, president and CEO of CBS and chief content officer, news and sports for Paramount+.
Studios Launches with two 9/11 documentaries premiering on Paramount+ and the CBS Television Network. Docuseries on Ghislaine Maxwell and the January 2021 attack on the U.S. capitol are also in production for Paramount+
“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+. 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.”
See It Now Studios will develop original documentaries and docuseries, and will be an in-house pipeline for Paramount+, CBS and ViacomCBS networks. The unit will also produce for third-party platforms and partner on projects with outside production companies. See It Now Studios’ productions will be distributed globally by the ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group.
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 Neeraj Khemlani and Wendy McMahon, presidents and co-heads of CBS News and Stations.
“See It Now Studios will deliver premium, impactful non-fiction series and unscripted programming,” said Zirinsky. “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.”
The name See It Now Studios is inspired by the famed series “See It Now,” produced by Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly, which launched on Nov. 18, 1951 and opened with the first live simultaneous coast-to-coast broadcast TV transmission. “See It Now” was a major influence on television journalism and led to the launch of “CBS Reports” and “60 Minutes.”
Joining Zirinsky in See It Now Studios are senior executive producer of content oversight Terence Wrong, an experienced, award-winning storyteller who has produced more than 200 hours of documentaries and docuseries for broadcast, premium and cable, 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 the strength of executive producer Mitch Weitzner and his team of Sasha Reuther and Danielle Levy.
George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.
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