People/Biz

George Cheeks exits NBCUniversal, in talks with ViacomCBS

George Cheeks has resigned as vice chairman of NBCUniversal Content Studios, Realscreen has confirmed. The role included heading up late night for NBC Entertainment. According to trade reports, Cheeks (pictured) is now ...
January 15, 2020

George Cheeks has resigned as vice chairman of NBCUniversal Content Studios, Realscreen has confirmed. The role included heading up late night for NBC Entertainment.

According to trade reports, Cheeks (pictured) is now set to join ViacomCBS as head of CBS operations. The move will mean he is stepping into Joe Ianniello’s shoes at the head of CBS.

Ianniello had been tapped as chairman and CEO of CBS when Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. announced a December closing date for their merger last year.

It remains unclear when Cheeks will leave NBCUniversal and join ViacomCBS. Taking the CBS CEO role would bring Cheeks back into the Viacom fold, where he was for 14 years prior to NBCUniversal. In 1998, he acted as senior counsel for MTV Networks. OBy 2005 he was elevated to executive vice president and general counsel for MTV, MTV2, MTVu, MTV Films, VH1, CMT and Logo.

ViacomCBS had not responded to a request for comment at press time.

Cheeks joined NBC Entertainment in 2012 and in September 2018 was named co-chairman with Paul Telegdy. The two were named as successors to outgoing NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt.

Cheeks and Telegdy were jointly responsible for overseeing all aspects of primetime, late night and scripted daytime programming for the network, including business affairs, marketing, communications, scheduling, West Coast research and digital operations, as well as first-run syndication.

Prior to being named co-chairman, Cheeks was co-president of Universal Cable Productions and Wilshire Studios, overseeing creative development and operations for the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment studios along with co-president Dawn Olmstead. He additionally held the title of president for late night programming at NBC Entertainment.

(With files from Barry Walsh)

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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