Confirming reports of his departure and replacement, ViacomCBS says Joe Ianniello, chairman and CEO of CBS, is leaving and former NBC executive George Cheeks will become president/chief executive officer of CBS Entertainment Group
Cheeks starts March 23. Cheeks had been vice chairman, NBCUniversal Content Studios.
At CBS, Cheeks will head all CBS-branded assets, including CBS Television Network, CBS Entertainment, CBS News and CBS Sports, CBS Television Studios and CBS Television Stations and CBS’ first-run syndication business.
Cheeks, a former senior Viacom executive, will report to Bob Bakish, president/chief executive officer of ViacomCBS.
Ianniello's departure was expected with the closing of the merger between Viacom and CBS late last year. He had been acting president/acting CEO of CBS after the departure of Les Moonves in September 2018. He has been CBS’s chief operating officer since 2013.
Before joining NBC in 2012, Cheeks had been executive vp of business affairs/general counsel for Viacom Music and Entertainment Group, as well as Head of Standards and Practices for Viacom Media.
Recent reports suggested that Ianniello could be heading to a senior executive position at Univision Communications.