Khemlani and McMahon Share Top Spot at CBS News, CBS Television Stations

Wendy McMahon
Neeraj Khemlani, Wendy McMahon (Image credit: CBS)

NEW YORK—CBS will combine CBS News and the CBS Television Stations with Neeraj Khemlani, Hearst Newspapers, Cable Networks & Digital Media executive; and Wendy McMahon, former ABC Owned Television Stations Group president, taking the lead. They have been named presidents and co-heads of the newly formed division. They will report to George Cheeks, president and chief executive officer of the CBS Entertainment Group.

“This is an opportunity to create a news and information structure that positions CBS for the future,” said Cheeks in a company statement. “It speaks to our ability to scale newsgathering, production, technical and operational resources to serve both national and local, linear and digital, with the agility to deliver trusted information to every platform. Wendy and Neeraj have the leadership background and cross-platform accomplishments that cover all these important areas, and they share our commitment for supporting superior journalism, optimal delivery platforms and the strongest of organizational cultures.”

McMahon and Khemlani will partner on managing all aspects of the division, marking a homecoming to CBS for both executives—Khemlani as a producer on “60 Minutes” and “60 Minutes II” for eight years while McMahon served seven years at WBZ Boston and WCCO Minneapolis.

The unified division will bring under one management structure the broadcast resources of CBS News, the 24/7 streaming news service CBSN, 10 CBSN Local platforms, and 28 CBS-owned stations in 17 major U.S. markets. It will maximize the power of CBS’ newsgathering and production operations to serve audiences across all national, digital, local and global platforms.

Susan Zirinsky will continue as president of CBS News until the new leadership has started and will assist with the transition. The company is in discussions with Zirinsky for a significant role at a new CBS News Content Studio to be launched later this year.

Khemlani was most recently executive vice president and deputy group head at Hearst Newspapers, overseeing 3,000 employees who publish print and digital subscription products for 24 dailies and 52 weeklies in cities across the country.

Prior to this position, McMahon was president of the ABC Owned Stations with direct responsibility for the Walt Disney Co.’s eight broadcast stations, local newsrooms and streaming assets, as well as oversight of the 1,500 team members who collectively achieved their 12th consecutive year of local television news leadership in 2020.