CBS CEO George Cheeks has responded to complaints about the network’s work culture after the New York Post reported that CBS News employees were being overworked and under-resourced by new boss Neeraj Khemlani.
In a written memo and video message sent to staffers last week, obtained by the Post, Cheeks spoke about improving work-life boundaries at CBS, which a spokesperson said was not intended specifically the news division.
“We need to set ourselves a goal by not emailing, texting or otherwise engaging in routine matters after hours or on weekends,” Cheeks said, according to a Thursday report by the post.
“Our workplace dynamics across the country are changing as a result of COVID,” the CBS spokesperson said. “And the transition to hybrid and agile office structures. Employee well-being is a top priority for CBS in this transition. »
Cheeks’ post follows an annual “wellness” survey sent to employees at Paramount Global, which includes CBS, Showtime, MTV and Comedy Central. A source close to the company told the Post that the scores were particularly poor from CBS News employees.
Khemlani and Wendy McMahon, who were named co-chairmen of CBS News and CBS Television Stations in April of last year, sent a subsequent memo saying “the well-being of every CBS employee is a top priority.”
“Many of you told us that you felt like the lines between work time and personal time blurred when the pandemic started and we were forced to reinvent on the fly how to do our jobs. in an unprecedented and challenging environment,” the memo read. continued. “And we recognize that the past year has been a particularly busy time for all of us as we have brought our CBS News and Stations businesses together under one roof.”
In January, the New York Post published a detailed report on Khemlani’s ruthless style of cost-cutting and micromanagement, which prompted several employees to file HR reports and file complaints through their agents. .
A longtime CBS employee told the Post, “There has never been a more unpopular news division president. I don’t think people would be surprised if he wasn’t here in a few months.
Khemlani, who was previously an executive at Hearst, and McMahon, a former ABC executive, took over following the departure of Susan Zirinsky last year. Zirinsky’s two-year run followed the exit of David Rhodes, who left CBS News after a tumultuous time that included the ousting of CBS CEO Les Moonves and other powerful players on #MeToo grounds.