Tanya Simon, a veteran at CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes,” has been named the new executive editor of the program, putting a female producer into the top echelon of the CBS News show after an unexpected transition of leadership.
Simon has worked for the broadcast for nearly 20 years and was one of the show’s senior producers. Among her recent responsibilities were overseeing digital content and the production of the spin-off “60 Minutes Sports” for Showtime, also part of CBS Corp. But her time at the program has included other significant duties. She produced some of former correspondent Ed Bradley’s most memorable segments, including coverage of the Duke Lacrosse Rape case, which took Peabody and Emmy awards, as well as an examination of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11.
She has also produced the first major television interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange; an Emmy-winning first interview with hero pilot Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger; and an investigation that revealed how Lance Armstrong used illegal PEDs to win bicycle races. Her work has placed her behind the scenes on stories anchored by Anderson Cooper, Steve Kroft, Scott Pelley, Lesley Stahl and Oprah Winfrey.
“Tanya is fantastic journalist with two decades worth of reporting at ’60 Minutes.'” said Bill Owens,, the show’s executive producer, in a prepared statement. “She has been central to this season’s strong start, both on TV and our digital platform. I could not ask for a better partner.”
Simon is also carrying on a family tradition. Her father, Bob Simon, was a noted foreign correspondent whose association with “60 Minutes” started in 1996. The older Simon was killed unexpectedly in a car accident in 2015.
“I’m humbled and excited to be a part of the team leading ’60 Minutes’ into its next chapter,” said Simon, in a statement. “It’s a place I’ve considered family for a long time and I welcome the opportunity to help build upon the world class journalism that has defined the program for the last 50 years.”
Simon takes a role previously held by Owens, who was elevated to the executive producer job at the program after CBS News parted ways with the show’s previous top executive Jeff Fager. Fager left after it was revealed he had spoken threateningly to a CBS News reporter looking into allegations of the working culture at the newsmagazine and the overall news division.
The new duties for both Owens and Simon are part of what are expected to be a series of broader changes taking place at CBS News as new president Susan Zirinsky analyzes assignments and anchors in a top-to-bottom review of the division. Earlier this week, CBS News confirmed that Judy Tygard would become executive producer of “48 Hours,” a role previously held by Zirinsky.
Simon began her career at CBS News as a researcher for “48 Hours” in 1996. She rose to associate producer and then producer at that newsmagazine before joining “60 Minutes” in 2000. She holds a B.A. degree from Columbia University and lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.