McClintock, executive VP and chief communications officer for CBS, is highly respected in the TV industry as a PR pro, a straight shooter and proud Bostonian. He has had an eventful last few years on the job after CBS was rocked by the ouster of longtime chief executive Leslie Moonves in September 2018. The company also traveled a long and winding road to its long-awaited reunion with Viacom, which was completed in early December.
McClintock’s departure comes on the heels of transition at the top of CBS. Joe Ianniello, who took over as CBS Corp. CEO in 2018, is exiting the company amid the post-merger management shuffle. NBCUniversal and Viacom alum George Cheeks is to begin his new role as president-CEO of CBS Entertainment Group as of March 23.
The exit of McClintock is not a surprise given his long association with Ianniello and the push within ViacomCBS to consolidate overlapping functions at the companies both controlled by the Redstone family’s National Amusements Inc. Over the coming weeks, McClintock will work on aspects of the integration of the former Viacom and CBS communications and PR teams.
McClintock joined CBS in 1993 to help launch “The Late Show with David Letterman” after the host made his historic jump from NBC to CBS. He left CBS to work for ABC News in 1996 and 1997. He returned to CBS to work in PR for the network’s coverage of the 1998 winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. He was promoted to VP of communications in 1999, and upped to executive VP in 2013.
“While some sentimentality is inevitable in times like these, I am pleased to say I feel entirely content that my CBS story is complete,” McClintock wrote in a memo to CBS staffers on Monday. “From Letterman press rep to chief communications officer, I have been fortunate to participate in a media evolution that featured immense change, unimaginable challenges and rewarding success.”
Here is McClintock’s full memo:
After 27 years in CBS Communications, I’ve had a hand in writing a variety of goodbye memos, and now it’s time for a version of my own. It’s time because the integration of the ViacomCBS Communications Department is well on its way, and I feel confident that we have people in place, from both Companies, to set us up for success going forward. I will continue to assist in this regard right on through my last day which will be June 30.
While some sentimentality is inevitable in times like these, I am pleased to say I feel entirely content that my CBS story is complete. From Letterman press rep to chief communications officer, I have been fortunate to participate in a media evolution that featured immense change, unimaginable challenges and rewarding success.
Along the way I have served some of the biggest and best brands in the business. And as much of a pleasure as that has been, it doesn’t come close to the gratitude I have for the colleagues and reporters that have made me feel welcome, supported me and inspired me, ever since my first day as a 21-year-old at Black Rock. In the end it’s always about the relationships and connections that make any job tenure great, and I’ve had more than my share.
So while I may not be saying goodbye just yet, I am saying thank you, for sharing this ride with me, and for all you’ll do to grow this Company into the future. I look forward to connecting with you again before I depart, and staying in touch beyond that as well…