Jay Shaylor, the executive producer of “CBS Evening News,” has stepped down from his post, one of the first significant rearrangements of top producers at the ViacomCBS news division since it was placed under the aegis of new top executives.
“Jay Shaylor is leaving the company. We thank him for his contributions to the broadcast and for helping develop it into the impactful program it is today,” CBS News said in a statement. Shaylor joined CBS News after serving many years at CNN, where he supervised “The Situation Room,” the long-running early-evening program led by Wolf Blitzer that competes directly with the broadcast networks’ evening-news programs.
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“CBS Evening News,” led by Norah O’Donnell, has seen its viewership improve over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, and it has become one of the most-watched programs on ViacomCBS’ CBS broadcast network. At the same time, the evening-news program, which has historical ties to iconic anchors like Walter Cronkite, remains in third place against ABC’s “World News Tonight” and NBC’s “NBC Nightly News.” CBS moved the “Evening News” to Washington, D.C. in late 2019 in a bid to lend the program a must-watch quality by putting its anchor in closer proximity to newsmakers in the nation’s capital.
Shaylor joined the program when it was under the aegis of former CBS News president, Susan Zirinsky. But Zirinsky left CBS News earlier this year, replaced by Neeraj Khemlani, a former Hearst Newspapers executive, and Wendy McMahon, the former head of ABC’s TV stations. People familiar with the news division say Khemlani has been particularly focused on viewership data and the financial details of each news program.
“The Evening News is in terrific hands with a stellar team of journalists, led by Elizabeth Turner and Alturo Rhymes, as we determine new executive leadership,” CBS News said. “With Norah O’Donnell as the anchor and Managing Editor, the Evening News is in its best competitive position in years. We are extremely proud of the broadcast and what this team will be able to accomplish as we move forward.”
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