Susan Zirinsky Replaces David Rhodes As CBS News President The president of CBS News, David Rhodes, is stepping down and will give way to the CBS producer and documentary-maker. Zirinsky will be the first woman to head CBS News.
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CBS Names Legendary Producer Susan Zirinsky As Head Of News

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CBS Names Legendary Producer Susan Zirinsky As Head Of News

CBS Names Legendary Producer Susan Zirinsky As Head Of News

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The president of CBS News is stepping down. David Rhodes gives way to Susan Zirinsky, the first woman to lead that news division. In the TV world, she is well-known as a CBS producer and documentary maker. NPR's David Folkenflik reports.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: Last night, Rhodes announced, quote, "The world we cover is changing. How we cover it is changing. And it's the right time for me to make a change, too." He had emphasized hard news, launched the digital news service CBSN and helped reinvent CBS's morning news show, winning new viewers and critical acclaim. Then there were the scandals.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "CBS THIS MORNING")

NORAH O'DONNELL: CBS News has suspended our co-host Charlie Rose over allegations of sexual misconduct.

FOLKENFLIK: Rhodes fired Rose in Fall 2017. Ratings sagged in the morning without Rose and in the evening under new anchor Jeff Glor. CBS's corporate Chairman Les Moonves stepped down last year after accusations of sexual assault that he denies. Days later, Rhodes fired former "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager over his threat to a CBS News journalist reporting on allegations against him. Some "60 Minutes" staffers angrily defended Fager. Zirinsky has worked throughout CBS News for more than four decades but represents a new start.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SUSAN ZIRINKSY: It was uneventful until 8:46 on September 11.

FOLKENFLIK: In 2006, Zirinsky based a documentary on footage that filmmakers captured by chance.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ZIRINSKY: These were amazing guys that found themselves at the gates of hell. But they had the wherewithal to not stop shooting.

FOLKENFLIK: Zirinsky says she'll champion hard news and compelling storytelling. Fun fact - she inspired a character on the movie "Broadcast News."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "BROADCAST NEWS")

HOLLY HUNTER: (As Jane Craig) What? We only have 10 minutes left. How can you talk to me about parking problems? No - not you'll try. You'll do it.

FOLKENFLIK: Holly Hunter played a hard-driving executive producer.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "BROADCAST NEWS")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) I had no idea she was this good.

FOLKENFLIK: That punchline delivered by her fictional news chief - in March, Zirinsky becomes the first female president of CBS News for real. David Folkenflik, NPR News, New York.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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