CBS president and acting CEO Joe Ianniello continues to put his own stamp on the company in this post-Leslie Moonves era, elevating Showtime boss David Nevins to a key position overseeing creative across the company’s TV platforms.
Nevins has been named chief creative officer of CBS Corp., a newly created position that gives him oversight of programming, marketing, and research across CBS Entertainment, CBS Television Studios, Showtime Networks, and programming for CBS All Access. (He’ll also oversee CBS’ 50 percent interest in The CW network.)
According to insiders, Ianniello wants to delegate more authority across the company — a change from his predecessor, who preferred to have dozens of direct reports and was known for his micromanagement style. Ianniello (who’s in the running to take the CEO job permanently) also announced Thursday that another Showtime exec, Christina Spade will become the executive vice president and chief financial officer of CBS Corp.
In the case of programming, Nevins’ elevation represents an acknowledgement by Ianniello that the business side of TV, not the creative, is his strength. Among his TV reports, Nevins perhaps made the most sense for the job given his background in top roles at broadcast networks (Fox and NBC), running a production company (Imagine TV), and leading a premium cable network and its OTT service (Showtime).
As part of the announcement, Nevins was promoted to chairman of Showtime Networks in addition to his role as CEO. Given his primary role at Showtime, Nevins is expected to still allow for much autonomy among his direct reports as Chief Creative Officer: Julie McNamara (CBS All Access), David Stapf (CBS TV Studios), Kelly Kahl (CBS Entertainment), George Schweitzer (Marketing), and Radha Subramanyam (Research).
“David has a brilliant creative mind and an impressive track record of success at Showtime and in the entertainment industry,” Ianniello said in a statement. “He is a forward-thinking leader who has driven programming excellence and subscriber growth for the cable network and its growing over-the-top service. The combination of David working with the outstanding and proven creative leaders we have in place will continue to build our position as a global premium content powerhouse.”
In his statement, Nevins stressed that CBS Corp. has “great strength in the creative leadership across the company’s content divisions, and I am excited to get to work with the talented teams that run CBS’ programming services.”
Nevins joined Showtime as entertainment president in 2010. Under his watch, Showtime greenlit shows such as “Homeland,” “Billions,” “Ray Donovan,” “The Affair,” “House of Lies,” “SMILF,” “The Chi,” and the “Twin Peaks” revival.
As the head of Imagine TV between 2002 and 2010, Nevins produced shows such as “Arrested Development,” “Friday Night Lights” and “24.” He was also executive vice president of programming at Fox, and senior VP of primetime series at NBC during the height of “Must See TV,” developing shows such as “Homicide” and “ER.”