George Cheeks to Lead CBS Entertainment Group


George Cheeks has been tapped to take the reins at CBS as Joe Ianniello steps down.

Cheeks has been named president and CEO of CBS Entertainment Group, effective March 23. He succeeds Ianniello, who has been serving as chairman and CEO of CBS.

Cheeks was most recently at NBCUniversal as vice chairman of content studios. He previously served as co-chairman of NBC Entertainment. He joined NBC in 2012 from Viacom Music and Entertainment Group, and previously had roles at Nickelodeon, MTV, CMT and LOGO.

At CBS Entertainment Group, Cheeks assumes responsibility for CBS Entertainment, CBS News, CBS Sports, CBS Television Studios, CBS Television Stations and CBS’ first-run syndication business. He will also partner with the ViacomCBS digital organization on the CBS-branded digital assets, including CBS All Access. He reports to Bob Bakish, president and CEO of ViacomCBS.

“I am thrilled to welcome George back to the family at this exciting moment for ViacomCBS,” said Bakish. “Throughout his career, George has built broad experience in broadcast and studio operations and brings a unique mix of skills—combining deep commercial expertise and industry relationships with strong creative and programming capabilities. With his finger on the pulse of culture and change and his strong grasp of strategy, brands, audiences and content monetization, George will help CBS build on its position as the most-watched broadcast network and drive results across the entire CBS portfolio.”

“I am very pleased to be able to leave CBS well-positioned for long-term success,” said Ianniello. “Throughout my 22-year tenure, I have always said that the quality and integrity of the people of CBS are what make it great. We have extraordinary employees at all levels of this organization, and I couldn’t be prouder of how they do their jobs day in and day out. Working with Bob, I now look forward to ensuring a smooth transition to the next phase of leadership of CBS, so that the Eye can continue to thrive, just as it has for so long.”

Cheeks added, “From news to sports to entertainment, CBS sets the standard, and I look forward to building on this tremendous foundation as we find new and innovative ways to deliver CBS to audiences worldwide.”