George Cheeks Sets Streamlined CBS Structure With David Nevins On the Move, Calls Network & Studio “Critical” To Paramount+ Growth

·4 min read

Today, ViacomCBS announced the long rumored restructuring of its streaming operations with a new content leadership team comprised of some of the top TV group executives across the Viacom and CBS sides of the company, including George Cheeks, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS; Chris McCarthy, President, MTV Entertainment Group; David Nevins, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Showtime Networks; Brian Robbins, President, Kids & Family Entertainment; and Nicole Clemens, President, Paramount Television Studios.

The announcement officially unveiled the new role — and title — for Nevins. In a memo to staff, Cheeks confirmed that Nevins “will step down from his role as Chief Creative Officer at CBS”. (Nevins remains Chairman and CEO of Showtime and will be adding the role of Chief Content Officer, Scripted Originals, for Paramount+. He also is keeping his oversight of BET.)

More from Deadline

In light of those changes, CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl and CBS Studios President David Stapf will now report directly to Cheeks. The move had been expected for a while as Nevins was tapped for the CBS role by then-acting CEO Joseph Ianniello when the company was still a standalone entity. At the time, Ianniello had just replaced Leslie Moonves, who exited the company amid controversy. He had no programming experience, so he tapped Nevins to lead that area.

On the other hand, Cheeks, who replaced Ianniello after the Viacom-CBS merger, came with solid programming experience from his tenure at NBCUniversal.

“I want to thank David for his important contributions to our team over the past two and a half years and supporting my first year at CBS,” Cheeks said. “I look forward to partnering with him on the growth of Paramount+ and on CBS Studios’ ongoing role as a producer of premium projects at Showtime, such as the upcoming series The Man Who Fell to Earth.”

In his memo (you can read it in full below), Cheeks touted the two entertainment divisions in his portfolio, the broadcast network and the studio.

“CBS Entertainment and CBS Studios will remain critical to the growth of Paramount+,” he said. “CBS shows are among the most watched on the service, and CBS Studios is its leading content provider – and growing – for Originals. I fully expect these talented creative teams will build on that success here, too.”

The new leadership structure at Paramount+ puts CBS Studios, which single-handedly built Paramount+ predecessor CBS All Access’ original slate from scratch, at somewhat of a disadvantage despite its stature as the biggest scripted content provider within the ViacomCBS portfolio by a mile.

Clemens, President of the smaller Paramount Television Studios, which is part of the Jim Gianopulos-run Paramount Pictures Group, is getting a dual role as President, Paramount+ Original Scripted Series to “lead original scripted content for Paramount+”, reporting to Nevins.

CBS Studios currently produces more than 70 series across broadcast, cable and streaming, including almost all of the biggest scripted series on Paramount+.

Here is Cheeks’ memo:

CBS Team – As you saw in Bob and Tom’s note below, an enhanced content leadership structure for ViacomCBS’ global streaming services was announced earlier today.

I’m excited to add the role of Chief Content Officer, News and Sports, for Paramount+ to my regular CBS responsibilities. It’s a great opportunity to work even closer with our colleagues in News and Sports as we scale both categories on Paramount+ and build on early wins, like our outstanding soccer coverage and 60 Minutes+.

At the same time, CBS Entertainment and CBS Studios will remain critical to the growth of Paramount+. CBS shows are among the most watched on the service, and CBS Studios is its leading content provider – and growing – for Originals. I fully expect these talented creative teams will build on that success here, too.

As part of today’s announcement, David Nevins will step down from his role as Chief Creative Officer at CBS. He will be adding the role of Chief Content Officer, Scripted Originals, for Paramount+, and continuing as Chairman and CEO of Showtime Networks. I want to thank David for his important contributions to our team over the past two and a half years and supporting my first year at CBS. I look forward to partnering with him on the growth of Paramount+ and on CBS Studios’ ongoing role as a producer of premium projects at Showtime, such as the upcoming series “The Man Who Fell to Earth.”

With David leaving his role at CBS, Kelly Kahl and David Stapf will report directly to me as we continue to develop and create a diverse range of best-in-class content for CBS, Paramount+ and other platforms.

Thank you as always for your passion, dedication and outstanding work. I am really proud of what we’ve done and what we will do to drive CBS and accelerate the growth of Paramount+. Let’s do this!

George

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting