In a big (big) change at CBS News, Jeff Fager - longtime chief of "60 Minutes" - has been named chairman, CBS News. It's a new title and made, apparently, to make room for the new president of CBS News, David Rhodes. Rhodes had been the top executive overseeing TV for Bloomberg, and this will almost certainly prompt speculation that CBS News and Bloomberg TV will combine editorial operations. There had been for years talk that CBS and CNN would combine but those always foundered on issues relating to who would run what; with Rhodes now at CBS News, a merger would theoretically appear more seamless. Fager remains head of "60."
Fager? He's a hugely talented executive who did what many suspected was impossible - replace Don Hewitt as exec producer of "60 Minutes." Hewitt quietly moved aside to make room for Fager, who didn't skip a beat. "60" is as good as ever - and it has the ratings to prove that,. The recent Assange interview was just one example. Jeff had formerly run "Evening News" during a very good run there as well. He's been at CBS virtually his entire career and knows the culture there as well as anyone alive. This appointment is what we call "a non-brainer." Here's what Leslie Moonves, the CBS boss, says:
"Jeff Fager represents all that is great about CBS News," said Moonves. "He is one of the most accomplished and trusted journalists in the world, and is now leading what is widely recognized as the greatest news broadcast in history to new levels of excellence and success. Now we're asking him to bring that vast wealth of experience, passion and judgment to the challenges and opportunities that face our storied News Division. I can think of no better person to maintain and build upon the great history of CBS News and bring it into a bright and competitive future."