WCBS names Friedman to new VP post

NEW YORK — WCBS has tapped the former exec producer of “Today” and “NBC Nightly News” to again retool its lagging news operation.

The CBS O&O named Steve Friedman VP and station manager, a new post in which he’ll oversee the news and promo departments. Friedman, 50, has been on the street for the past year after ankling from now-defunct Savoy Pictures’ TV operations.

Friedman, 50, echoed comments of his new boss, CBS Television Stations prexy and WCBS G.M. Jonathan Klein, that “the station’s moving, but we don’t think it’s moving fast enough.” By February, when all CBS affils will benefit from Winter Olympics lead-ins “our job is to present a product that may be able to keep some of those viewers.”

He said he expected news director Bill Carey to remain at the station handling day-to-day running of the department, but conceded he’s “not big on slogans,” particularly the station’s “More News, Less Time” motto, and is “still trying to figure out what that means.” His mandate is to make WCBS’ news more “relevant” to local audiences, without necessarily increasing the cost of producing it.

Klein said he combined two roles under Friedman — who has experience in both — because “promotion has to reflect the news (operation) and news has to reflect promotion.”

Friedman exec produced “Today” from 1979-87 and again from 1993-95, when he conceived the street-level studio that has attracted legions of tourists, spurring ABC and possibly CBS to mimic it. In the interim, he shepherded the ill-fated “USA Today” TV project for Gannett and former NBC prexy Grant Tinker. Friedman created “Dateline NBC” in 1992 and also served as exec producer of “NBC Nightly News” from 1990-93.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety

Loading