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As the industry shutters for the Christmas and New Year holidays, CBS Entertainment Group chief George Cheeks marked his nine-month anniversary at the company with a year-end note to staffers that points to “brighter days ahead” for the company and the Eye.

“I joined you at CBS nine months ago today. In my message that day I told you that ‘the weeks and months ahead will continue to challenge us, but I have no doubt we’ll get through it together,’ ” Cheeks wrote in a note sent Wednesday to about 10,000 employees at CBS-branded companies.

None of us probably knew at that point how personally and professionally challenging 2020 would actually be. I know I didn’t,” he wrote. “The merger integration, the pandemic, the push for social justice and protests against systemic racism, the impact of climate change and a chaotic but crucial election – that’s enough for most decades, no less a year.”

Cheeks took the reins of CBS after seven years at NBCUniversal where he rose to head NBC and its studio. NBCUniversal in mid-January. It was a homecoming for Cheeks, who rose through the business affairs ranks over 14 years at Viacom’s cable networks, starting in 1998. He was part of the company during the previous Viacom-CBS marriage, which made him a logical choice to recruit when Shari Redstone and Bob Bakish were realigning CBS and Viacom in the wake of the December 2019 re-merger.

Cheeks is not the only industry executive to move into a high-profile management post amid the remote work environment necessitated by COVID-19 pandemic. In the note, he made a point of highlighting what he sees as signs of relief on the horizon for the nation as a whole.

Here’s Cheeks’ full note:

CBS Team – I wanted to send a year-end message as we approach the finish line of the marathon that is 2020. 

I joined you at CBS nine months ago today. In my message that day I told you that “the weeks and months ahead will continue to challenge us, but I have no doubt we’ll get through it together.” 

None of us probably knew at that point how personally and professionally challenging 2020 would actually be. I know I didn’t. The merger integration, the pandemic, the push for social justice and protests against systemic racism, the impact of climate change and a chaotic but crucial election – that’s enough for most decades, no less a year. 

We’ve just about made it through this year, and we’ve certainly done it together. With a healthy dose of caution, I’m optimistic that there are brighter days ahead for our country, our business and all of us in 2021. 

But before we happily say goodbye to 2020, we can’t forget all that we’ve accomplished this year. Adaptable teams on our productions across news, sports and entertainment are keeping our programming running under extraordinary circumstances, and thousands of colleagues at every level are working hard, from kitchen tables and makeshift offices, to keep our various businesses moving forward. It’s truly remarkable! 

I can never thank you enough for your efforts this year, but I’ll certainly try. Thank you for your fortitude amidst such uncertainty and constant change. Thank you for your passion for CBS and thank you for your dedication to caring about the well-being of your colleagues. 

I hope that each of you is able to spend at least some time with your loved ones over the next few weeks. I’m also hopeful that you can take well-deserved time for yourself, to relax, reflect and recharge. 

I wish the warmest of holidays and the happiest of new years to you and yours. 

With gratitude, 

George