David Corvo, CBS News’ VP for public affairs, will be the new executive producer on Fox’s upcoming, prime time magazine program, Fox News president Van Gordon Sauter confirmed late yesterday. The broadcast will originate from Los Angeles.
Corvo is one of Sauter’s first major hires and is viewed within the industry as a totem for the kind of journalism the Clearasil Network will practice. Since 1990, Corvo has overseen CBS newsmagazines “60 Minutes,””48 Hours” and “Street Stories,” and the web’s in-house documentary and specials unit.
Aside from screening and signing off on pieces, he also handles some of the day-to-day personnel and business affairs matters that arise on these programs.
Sauter and Corvo have a long history, working together on-and-off since the 1970s. It was Sauter who brought Corvo from California to New York when the former headed CBS’ news division. Within the news division, Corvo developed a reputation for being among a select group of up-and-comers known as “Van’s Nerds.”MDRV
Sources familiar with the two men suggest that Sauter was anxious to have a Sancho Panza on the payroll at his new shop.
Also, considering that Fox News is still in the start-up phase, Corvo’s administrative talents are widely viewed as a plus. Said one Fox source, “We need an executive producer who is also an adult.”
Corvo’s first order of business will be putting together a production staff that can produce a lucrative, cutting-edge newsmagazine by spring. The proposed program is considered one of the three major building blocks in Fox News’ development strategy. Aside from trying to bring news capability to its 140 affiliates, Sauter also wants to build the weblet’s wire service into a global news feed.
The majority of Corvo’s career has been spent at CBS, both in L.A. at KNXT (now CBS O&O KCBS) and in New York at CBS News.
Corvo, who joined KNXT in 1975 as a producer, helped launch the station’s investigative reporting unit. In 1980, he became the executive producer for news. Two years later, he became CBS News’ L.A. bureau chief.
Corvo has worked as an assignment editor and producer on “The CBS Evening News: Weekend Edition,””CBS Morning News” and “CBS This Morning.” He first came to national attention in 1987 when he became executive producer of “CBS This Morning,” which replaced the “CBS Morning Program”–an ill-fated Mariette Hartley vehicle that received a 1.9 Nielsen rating. Under Corvo’s leadership, the morning show shifted gears to a more news-driven, less infotainment-heavy format.
Sources at CBS News characterize Corvo as a gifted and warm-hearted administrator. Yet several CBS colleagues described him as more of an editor than a visionary.
Sources at CBS suggest that Corvo was drawn to Fox because he had grown tired of bench-sitting administrative duties.