Susan Zirinsky, a 46-year veteran of CBS News and the top producer of the “48 Hours” newsmagazine, is about to become the first woman to run the network’s television news division.
Zirinsky will succeed CBS News president David Rhodes, who is stepping down in March.
Rhodes’ contract was set to expire in February, and there had been widespread speculation within the news division about his future, as CBS is cleaning house after the scandals that have plagued the news division, the network and its parent company recently.
Joe Ianniello, the interim CEO of CBS, announced the news on Sunday night after CNN Business began to inquire about the imminent change.
Ianniello said Rhodes “has decided the time is right to move on to new opportunities.”
“I’m grateful to David for his 8 years with the Company, during which time he led CBS News with integrity and editorial rigor and launched CBSN. I’m also grateful for David’s commitment to work closely with Susan to ensure a smooth transition over the coming months,” he wrote in an internal memo.
Zirinsky, known as “Z” within the news division, is a popular figure, having worked in various roles there since 1972.
“You may think of her as Holly Hunter from ‘Broadcast News,’ but she is so much more,” Ianniello wrote, in a nod to the fact that Zirinsky inspired the “Broadcast News” character. She was also a consultant on the film.