His renewed deal would give the executive oversight of content for streaming service CBS All Access, in addition to retaining his existing Showtime responsibilities. It could also see his role grow even further, giving him say in content decisions across CBS’ brands, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the discussions.
Nevins would be positioned as a key leader at CBS long-term as the company navigates a top-down transition following the ousting of CEO Leslie Moonves in September amid allegations of sexual harassment and assault. Sources stressed that Nevins’ new purview is yet to be determined and talks are ongoing.
A CBS Corp. spokesperson declined comment.
A new agreement for Nevins — who was named CEO of Showtime Networks in 2015, tapped to succeed Matthew Blank — would continue the restructuring that has ramped up in recent weeks at CBS’ uppermost levels. On Thursday, Laurie Rosenfield was named chief people officer for the company, taking over the duties of prior human resources head Anthony Ambrosio. That same day, Dana McClintock was named chief communications officer, replacing the outgoing Gil Schwartz.
A shift to a company-spanning role focused on content strategy would be a potential fit for Nevins and CBS. At Showtime he oversaw the development of series including “Shameless,” “House of Lies,” “Ray Donovan,” and multiple Emmy winner “Homeland.” His expertise and experience — which previous stints at Imagine Entertainment and Must See TV-era NBC — could fill a void at CBS’ uppermost level following the departure of Moonves, who also rose through the ranks as a programming executive, and who was known to have involved himself in granular-level programming decisions long after becoming CEO. Joseph Ianniello, currently serving as interim CEO, is a respected dealmaker, but lacks the creative experience that Moonves brought to the table.
Nevins’ future has been the subject of speculation since Moonves’ departure from the company in September. His name has been floated by industry observers as a potential successor for the CBS Corp. CEO role, currently held on interim basis by Ianniello, the company’s former COO. Ianniello is the only person who has been acknowledged by CBS publicly as being under official consideration for the permanent CEO role.
In an expanded role for Nevins, All Access–which launched its first original programming last year–would continue to fall under the purview of CBS Interactive. Nevins would assume responsibility for original-programming decisions for the service, whose original content has been overseen by Julie McNamara, a longtime CBS Television Studios exec. McNamara currently reports to CBS TV Studios president David Stapf and CBS Interactive President and COO Marc DeBevoise.
CBS division heads are expected to appear in New York next week to give presentations to the company’s new board of directors. They are part of a process to familiarize the board with the inner workings of the company after its membership was overhauled in the wake of Moonves’ departure. The board, in concert with CBS’ controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, is leading the search for a permanent CEO.
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