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Steve Capus Out as Top Producer at ‘CBS Evening News’

Mosheh Oinounou will replace Steve Capus as the executive producer of “CBS Evening News,” a behind-the-scenes change at the venerable evening newscast that takes place just a few weeks after a new anchor was put in front of the camera.

Capus, a former president of NBC News and a TV-news veteran, is expected to retain his duties as executive editor of CBS News. He is expected to pursue other opportunities within CBS News, but could also find a new role outside the organization. Jeff Glor started as anchor on the broadcast in early December.

In Oinounou, CBS News has a producer whose experience matches that of CBS News President David Rhodes. Both executives have logged stints at Fox News Channel and Bloomberg Television. In recent years, Oinounou has served as executive producer of CBSN, the streaming-news outlet upon which CBS News has placed significant emphasis. Oinounou worked on the management team that created and launched CBSN, and was the first executive producer of the live streaming service. He recently supervised “CBSN: On Assignment,” a broadcast-TV effort to capture some of the reporting style of the digital venue. He joined CBS News in 2011.

Executives at the CBS News unit have indicated they want to add new digital extensions to “CBS Evening News,” a longtime broadcast-TV staple. Indeed, in May of 2016, CBS News retooled its weekend evening-news broadcasts, replacing a more traditional version of the program with “CBS Weekend News,” which has been anchored by correspondents assigned regularly to CBSN. And CBSN recently added a 10 p.m. re-airing of that day’s “CBS Evening News” to its programming lineup.

That digital push is expected to continue. CBS News “will be adding emphasis to new approaches and digital extensions from Jeff and other correspondents all around our organization,” said Rhodes in a memo to staffers on Tuesday. “The journalism that we all showcase on CBS stations each evening can live 24/7 in a form relevant to an even wider range of viewers online.”

“CBS Evening News” has long run in third place against its main rivals, ABC’s “World News Tonight” and NBC’s “NBC Nightly News.” Under Capus, who worked with Scott Pelley and Anthony Mason before Glor took the anchor reins, the broadcast sought to differentiate itself by emphasizing coverage of foreign news and hard investigations. In 2015, for example, the broadcast featured a two-part series from correspondent Jim Axelrod looking at the use of taxpayer dollars to fund questionable medications for military personnel and veterans. Under Capus’ aegis, it was not uncommon for the evening newscast to air segments lasting longer than four minutes; the average length of a story on the broadcast is typically under two.

“During one of the most unique and challenging news cycles, our Evening News team has consistently produced a high-quality, respected and smart broadcast,” Capus said in a memo to staff, adding: “Now that Jeff is successfully launched, it’s time to hand over the reins. In the coming weeks, I will begin work on my next chapters. Regardless of whether those chapters are written here at CBS or elsewhere, I’m looking forward to new endeavors.”

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