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CBS Chief Glenn Geller to Take Leave of Absence Following Mild Heart Attack

CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller will take a leave of absence from the network after suffering a mild heart attack, Variety has learned.

In a note to staff Wednesday, Geller said that he is “on track for a full recovery” after resting at home. He added, “The bad news is that pilot season and the Upfront isn’t the best environment to achieve that recovery. After consulting with my doctors, my husband, and my family, I plan to take off a few more weeks and return at the end of May.”

In a separate memo, CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves said that company leadership is “fully supportive of Glenn focusing on restoring himself to 100%.” But, he continued, “At the same time, it’s clear that we must now adjust ourselves to a new situation as we finish our pilots and head into the Upfront.”

No change in leadership structure at the network was announced. Moonves wrote to executives that they will be relied on to pick up the slack in Geller’s absence: “You all know what to do, and will now need to step up with the same energy, dedication and passion that you bring to your jobs every day – and just a little bit more, given the situation.”

The move comes as CBS prepares for its upfront presentation May 17 in New York, where it will unveil its 2017-18 primetime slate and fall schedule. The network has already finalized pilot orders for this development season. Work on next season’s slate will intensify in the coming weeks.

Geller was named CBS Entertainment chief in 2015 following the departure of longtime network leader Nina Tassler. He had previously served as head of current programming for the network. Among the series developed during his tenure are “Superior Donuts,” “Bull,” “Kevin Can Wait,” “Man With Plan,” and “MacGyver.”

Read the full memos from Geller and Moonves below.

From Geller:

Hi everyone.

As many of you know, I experienced a mild heart attack recently and I’ve been resting at home for a couple of weeks.  The good news is the doctors have given me an excellent report card and say I’m on track for a full recovery.  The bad news is that pilot season and the Upfront isn’t the best environment to achieve that recovery.  After consulting with my doctors, my husband, and my family, I plan to take off a few more weeks and return at the end of May.

I’m so grateful for all the support I’ve received from Leslie and my 3rd floor colleagues over the past few days. While it will be very strange not being in the trenches with you during this crazy time of year, I have all the confidence in you — our creative teams and talented executives — shepherding our terrific pilots.  I know you will all carry the CBS flag to Carnegie Hall with distinction.  I’ll be watching with pride.

All the best,
Glenn

From Moonves:

To: All Department Heads at CBS Entertainment

By now you have heard the news about Glenn and his need to take some time off to get better. Fortunately, Glenn’s medical prognosis is good and he is recovering nicely. Our thoughts are with him and we are fully supportive of Glenn focusing on restoring himself to 100%.

At the same time, it’s clear that we must now adjust ourselves to a new situation as we finish our pilots and head into the Upfront. The good news is that, quite simply, there is no organization better equipped for the task at hand.

Of course, Glenn’s leadership, hard work and creativity will be sorely missed. But the team at CBS Entertainment has been together a long time.  There is no better group of executives across all of our departments.

You all know what to do, and will now need to step up with the same energy, dedication and passion that you bring to your jobs every day – and just a little bit more, given the situation.

As always, I am here to help the team in any way achieve what we all want from this pilot season: great programming and a spectacular new schedule.

Thanks as always for your talent, your hard work and your support. And it goes without saying, we all wish Glenn a speedy recovery.

Leslie 

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