Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Andrew Heyward Gets The Boot At CBS News

Moonves names Sports prexy McManus as his guy to take News to the next level, whatever that is
The other shoe dropped.
CBS head honcho Les Moonves continued his inserting his pawprint on CBS News by removing Andrew Heyward as News Division President and replacing him with Sean McManus, who will continue in his current role as head of CBS Sports.
A statement from Moonves said Heyward would remain on until the end of the year as an advisor to assist in the transition, though one suspects McManus really doesn't need the help. It so happens Heyward's contract runs until the end of the year.
At least publicly, Moonves was effusive in his praise for Heyward:

Andrew has held the post of President of CBS News for almost 10 years, and served in a wide variety of roles before that during his 24-year career at CBS. Under his leadership, our News Division has been recognized with many of the industry’s highest honors: 57 Emmy, 13 Peabody, 13 Alfred I. duPont/Columbia University, six Overseas Press Club and 46 RTNDA/Edward R. Murrow awards, including most recently the Murrow for Overall Excellence for three years running. He is, quite simply, a man of great character, whose integrity and experience has guided our News division through a time of tremendous change, and I want to thank him for his unwavering commitment to the core values of journalism, and for his years of creativity, dedication and loyalty to this company.

Good, but not good enough.

A lot of people were left wondering how Heyward was still standing after the National Guard story scandal, which brought down Dan Rather, two senior executives and a top producer. The buck didn't stop at his office and that rankled many inside the news division.

Still, it was apparent that Heyward was on borrowed time. Moonves had given Heyward a qualified thumbs-up at the time of the Guard blood-letting, but in a New York Times Magazine piece last month, talked about "blowing up" CBS News, though exactly in what form that explosion would take he didn't say at the time.

Consider Heyward's ouster the first stick of dynamite.

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