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CBS CEO Joe Ianniello Expected to Leave ViacomCBS in the Spring (Report)

Former NBCU exec George Cheeks has been in talks to succeed him

CBS CEO Joe Ianniello is expected to depart from ViacomCBS in the spring, according to a report from The Information, which cited two individuals familiar with the situation.

Ianniello was named CEO of CBS, under ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish, putting him in charge of all CBS-branded assets. Prior to CBS’ merger with Viacom, Ianniello had been serving as president and acting CEO following the resignation of Leslie Moonves in September of 2018.

ViacomCBS declined to comment.

It was anticipated that Ianniello would eventually leave the newly-combined company after he did not get the CEO job that went to Bakish. Shortly after the merger was announced last August, Ianniello signed a new contract with CBS through 2021 — his prior agreement was set to expire this month, and ViacomCBS likely wanted to ensure a smooth integration between the two companies.

News of Ianniello’s departure comes less than two weeks after TheWrap reported that ViacomCBS Inc. was in “advanced talks” with former NBCUniversal exec Cheeks for a senior role at CBS, that could potentially make him Ianniello’s successor. That news came the same day that Cheeks stepped down as vice chairman of NBCUniversal Content Studios.

Cheeks’ exit came just months after NBCU reorganized its television studios, rolling up Universal Television and Universal Content Productions into a single unit led by former Peacock exec Bonnie Hammer. He was moved over from co-running NBC Entertainment alongside Paul Telegdy as part of a larger reorganization of the company’s TV and streaming operations. In addition to his role as vice chairman, Cheeks continued to oversee late-night programming for NBC, a carry-over responsibility from his tenure at NBC.