CBS installs new leadership for flagship TV station, WCBS
CBS named a new leader for its flagship WCBS-TV station in New York, another sign that the broadcast giant is committed to improving working conditions within the company’s television stations group.
The company announced Tuesday that it was promoting award-winning journalist Johnny Green Jr. to president and general manager of CBS’ local operations in New York — television stations WCBS-TV Channel 2, WLNY-TV Channel 10/55 and its digital operation, CBSN New York.
Green, who is based in New York, had been running the joint WCBS-WLNY newsroom on an interim basis since late January, when CBS suspended two top executives in the wake of a Los Angeles Times investigation. Green was brought in to oversee WCBS’ news operations following allegations that the WCBS newsroom was a “hostile environment” where Black, Latino, Asian and gay employees were treated poorly, and stories that occurred in Black and Latino neighborhoods were at times overlooked.
The complaints came to light after The Times series delved into allegations of racism and misogyny at KYW-TV Channel 3 in Philadelphia and the unusual deal that resulted in the $55-million purchase of WLNY.
Green joined CBS in 2015 at its Boston station as assistant news director and, in 2016, he was elevated to news director. After five years in Boston, Green shifted to CBS News, where he managed Newspath, the network’s video news service that feeds local stations and affiliates.
As general manager, Green will be in charge of the New York stations’ business operations and its newscasts. He will step into the new job Monday. In a statement, CBS said that Green will continue to lead Newspath and the WCBS-WLNY newsroom until CBS locates a replacement.
Green becomes the third Black general manager in the CBS-owned stations group. Brandin Stewart runs CBS stations in Philadelphia. In February, the company named Darryll Green vice president and general manager of CBS’ two stations in Miami.
“With this well-deserved promotion, we look forward to having Johnny lead our station-wide team efforts to produce great content, serve our diverse communities across the Tri-State Area, and promote a positive workplace culture,” Wendy McMahon, president and co-head of CBS News and Stations, said in a statement. McMahon rejoined the network two months ago as part of the larger shake-up.
Green, in the statement, said he was “deeply honored” by the opportunity.
“I have great admiration for my colleagues at CBS New York and look forward to collaborating with all of them as we work together to positively transform our business and culture as a united CBS Stations and News organization,” Green said.
Following The Times’ investigation into the problems within the CBS stations group, CBS Chief Executive George Cheeks met with leaders of the National Assn. of Black Journalists, who pressed for greater accountability and diversity at the New York station. Cheeks made a commitment to improve the workplace culture at CBS, which has been part of ViacomCBS since late 2019.
Under Cheeks’ direction, CBS hired Keisha-Ann Gray of the Proskauer Rose law firm to conduct a thorough review of workplace complaints in the station group, which includes 28 stations across the country, including KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KCAL-TV Channel 9 in Los Angeles.
Gray’s review is ongoing.
In April, CBS ousted the former TV stations chief, Peter Dunn, who had run the division since 2009, and David Friend, who was responsible for news operations at more than a dozen CBS-owned television stations. Dunn and Friend also were directly responsible for the operations in New York. Both have denied allegations of misconduct.
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