Community has a brand new boss as cuts loom
Kelly Kahl, President, CBS Entertainment

Kelly Kahl, president of CBS Leisure, speaks on the CBS Leisure govt panel on the TCA Summer season Press Tour in Los Angeles in 2018. (Francis Specker/CBS by way of Getty Photographs)

Kelly Kahl, the revered head of the CBS tv community for 5 turbulent years, will step down subsequent month, clearing the way in which for veteran programmer Amy Reisenbach to succeed him.

CBS President George Cheeks introduced the transfer Wednesday, noting Kahl’s departure was “a part of a restructuring and streamlining of management at CBS Leisure.” Reisenbach will now oversee the community’s prime-time, daytime and late-night artistic departments, the corporate introduced.

In her expanded function, Reisenbach — a Kahl lieutenant who has been at CBS for 17 years — may even be liable for comedy and drama growth, options and specials, present programming and scheduling and casting.

“She is a passionate advocate for writers, producers and the artistic course of, with confirmed programming instincts for what it takes to make and maintain a extremely profitable tv sequence,” Cheeks mentioned in an announcement. “She additionally continues to be a powerful proponent for range and inclusion and a key determine within the developments CBS has made in entrance of and behind the digicam on this space.”

The strikes are half of a bigger restructuring on the community that’s anticipated to end in job cuts.

CBS’ efforts to skinny its administration ranks comes as tv firms brace for a tricky 2023 amid linear scores declines and forecasts for a attainable recession that has already put a dent in advertisers’ budgets. Main firms all through the trade, together with Warner Bros. Discovery and NBCUniversal, are chopping a whole bunch of staff. CBS, which is a part of Paramount International, can also be making cuts.

Reisenbach takes the helm because the community has 16 of the highest 25 exhibits this season in broadcast tv.

“This Community means a lot to the individuals who work right here, the writers and producers who name it dwelling, and the viewers who fall in love with our sequence,” Reisenbach mentioned in an announcement. “I am excited and proud to proceed our custom of excellence that everybody at this Community strives to exceed on daily basis.”

She is going to report back to Cheeks.

CBS additionally mentioned that Thom Sherman, the senior govt vp for programming, would go away the community by yr’s finish and segue right into a producer function the place he would develop exhibits for CBS and the streaming service Paramount+.

Reisenbach joined CBS in 2005 as a normal supervisor of present applications and have become a vp six years later. She labored her approach up the ranks, and have become govt vp of present applications at CBS in 2017. Earlier than becoming a member of CBS, she labored on the Warner Bros. Tv studios. She is a graduate of the College of Arizona with a bachelor’s diploma in social and behavioral sciences.

Kahl supplied key management to the community that has weathered a lot upheaval prior to now 5 years.

Observers mentioned Kahl understood the roots and heritage of the saved community and was liable for defending CBS’ place with viewers amidst seismic adjustments within the media enterprise. He was the unflappable architect of the trade’s most secure prime-time schedule, one which elevated CBS to the highest of the published community heap for 19 of the final 20 tv seasons.

Kahl, in an e mail to the CBS workers, mentioned that working at CBS for the previous 26 years “was an absolute honor and privilege.”

“I began right here as a scheduler once we have been in 3rd place and liked battling into 1sthowever I am particularly pleased with our accomplishments throughout my run as leisure president over the previous 5 years,” Kahl wrote.

“We delivered tangible enhancements in range and inclusion in entrance of and behind the digicam, held our groups collectively and centered through the pandemic, and launched quite a few hit sequence that maintained CBS #1 standing,” Kahl mentioned.

Over his lengthy tenure, Kahl championed on-line strikes equivalent to switching a nascent “Survivor” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” to Thursday nights in an effort to rake in additional promoting {dollars} and compete face to face with NBC’s then-juggernaut lineup. He turned president of leisure in 2017 — a yr earlier than the corporate was despatched reeling by allegations of sexual assault by its longtime chief, Leslie Moonves.

After Moonves was pressured out in September 2018, Kahl stepped up together with Showtime’s David Nevins to supply stability for a shell-shocked division. The upheaval continued in 2019 when Viacom and CBS merged, creating ViacomCBS. Earlier this yr, the corporate rebranded itself Paramount International, in an effort to go away its cumulative previous behind. Nevins is also leaving the corporate.

As leisure president, Kahl shepherded such hits as “The Neighborhood,” “Ghosts,” “The Equalizer,” “NCIS: Hawai’i,” “Hearth Nation,” and three installments of “FBI.” He additionally advocated for CBS’ hit actuality franchises.

“Extra broadly, Kelly has been a fierce advocate for the vitality of broadcast tv whereas being a gradual and revered community chief by means of the nice instances in addition to turbulent durations,” Cheeks wrote. “With out query, Kelly has devoted the final 26 years to constructing CBS and leaves it positioned for even additional success. He has been humble, gracious and beneficiant together with his friends each step of the way in which.”

A graduate of the College of Wisconsin and USC’s Annenberg Faculty for Communication and Journalism, Kahl obtained his break in tv as an intern at Lorimar, the manufacturing firm greatest recognized for the hit sequence “Dallas” and “Knots Touchdown.”

Lorimar turned a part of Warner Bros. Tv, the place below then-chief Moonves, the studio produced two of community TV’s largest hits, “Pals” and “ER.” Kahl labored within the analysis division at Warner Bros. after which adopted Moonves to CBS when he turned leisure president in 1995.

Kahl was put answerable for scheduling and over time used the community’s meter programming property to construct a bigger viewers. Utilizing such hits as “Everyone Loves Raymond,” “Survivor,” “CSI” “Huge Bang Concept” and “NCIS,” Kahl’s method was to broaden the community’s power throughout the week with none main disruptions to viewers’ habits in an age earlier than that they had streaming.

Kahl ascended to the function of leisure president — one of many uncommon scheduling executives to make the bounce to the artistic aspect — and stored the community in first place. Underneath Kahl’s watch, CBS continued to prove broad-appeal hits such because the sitcom “Ghosts,” and produced Dick Wolf’s “FBI” franchise.

Over the past 20 years, with Kahl as a part of the leisure division’s management, CBS has been the most-watched community, apart from the 2007-08 season when the Writers Guild of America strike had stored many hit sequence off the air or in repeat episodes.

On Wednesday, Kahl didn’t say what his subsequent enterprise could be. However he celebrated his camaraderie together with his CBS crew.

“I’ve lived a TV fan’s dream to work with essentially the most gifted writers, producers, and actors in tv. Most significantly, I’ve liked being within the trenches alongside all of you — the best executives and staff in present enterprise,” Kahl wrote. “This place is particular and so are its individuals.”

This story initially appeared within the Los Angeles Instances.