CBS Stations Announces Plans for a Local News Innovation Lab

CBS Stations
Chad Cross will serve as a senior leader at the lab as vice president, content development, CBS Stations. (Image credit: CBS Stations)

NEW YORK—CBS Stations have announced plans to create a local news innovation lab where CBS News and Stations employees will be experimenting with next-generation storytelling, such as data journalism, and testing new products, workflows and production models for the future. 

The new Local News Innovation Lab will be based at KTVT-TV and independent sister station KTXA-TV, the ViacomCBS-owned stations in Dallas-Fort Worth.. 

“Following up on the recent announcement of our plans to create from scratch the newsroom of the future for WWJ-TV in Detroit, we are excited to continue to aggressively pursue new and exciting concepts in the new year through the creation of our local news innovation lab,” Wendy McMahon, president and co-head, CBS News and Stations announced. “We are putting significant resources and investments behind this commitment to be on the leading edge of innovation, as we continue to reimagine how CBS Stations will serve our audiences across all of our markets and all of our CBS News and Stations platforms in the months and years to come.”

As part of the effort, award-winning local news executive Chad Cross will serve as a senior leader at the lab as vice president, content development, CBS Stations. In this newly created role, Cross will report to CBS Stations president Adrienne Roark and work closely with colleagues both at CBS News and CBS Stations, collaborating with the existing news, investigative and special projects teams in local newsrooms while building and leading a team of journalists who will support original, next-generation storytelling across CBS News and Stations’ platforms. 

Also as part of the effort, veteran CBS Stations executive Andrea Parquet-Taylor will transition from her current role as vice president and news director at KCBS-TV and independent sister station KCAL-TV, the ViacomCBS-owned stations in Los Angeles, to Dallas-Fort Worth and lead the first initiative that will be developed at the lab.

CBS Stations

 Andrea Parquet-Taylor (Image credit: CBS Stations)

As vice president, CW and independent stations news director, Parquet-Taylor will report to CBS Stations President Tom Canedo and be responsible for overseeing the launch and production of hybrid, local-to-national multiplatform newscasts for several of the Company’s CW, independent and MyNetwork TV-affiliated stations. 

The markets served will include New York (WLNY), Philadelphia (WPSG), Dallas-Fort Worth (KTXA), San Francisco (KBCW), Atlanta (WUPA), Boston (WSBK), Seattle (KSTW), Tampa (WTOG), Detroit (WKBD) and Miami (WBFS). These programs will include both hyper-local content that will be produced by multi-skilled journalists on the ground in each market, as well as content produced by team members at KTVT and the lab.

CBS Stations will be supporting Cross and Parquet-Taylor’s teams by hiring additional employees both in Dallas-Fort Worth and at local stations, the company said. Specific job description information will be released in the near future.

“Adrienne, Tom and Raquel Amparo (CBS Dallas-Fort Worth president and general manager) have done a terrific job of conceptualizing and bringing our innovation lab to life,” McMahon added. “And we are excited to both welcome Chad to our team and promote Andrea to serve more markets in a news leadership role.”

Cross is joining CBS Stations after having served as the news director at KXAN-TV, the NBC-affiliated station in Austin, since 2012. While at KXAN, Cross and his colleagues have established a nationally recognized investigative team that has received national Edward R. Murrow Awards, Walter Cronkite Awards, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, an Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award and National Headliners Awards.

Parquet-Taylor has worked for the CBS Stations since February 2017. Before assuming her current role as vice president and news director at KCBS and KCAL in December 2020, she spent almost four years at KTVT and KTXA. She initially served as the Dallas-Fort Worth duopoly’s vice president and news director and then was promoted to vice president and station manager in June 2018.

Prior to joining CBS Stations, Parquet-Taylor served as the news director at WNCN-TV, the CBS affiliate in Raleigh-Durham; WXYZ-TV in Detroit; WRAL-TV and WRAZ-TV in Raleigh-Durham and WMAR-TV in Baltimore.

Parquet-Taylor will continue to serve as news director at KCBS-KCAL until a successor has been hired.

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.