CBS comms head Gil Schwartz to retire

Schwartz also wrote for Fortune under the pseudonym, Stanley Bing.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

NEW YORK: CBS chief communications officer Gil Schwartz will reportedly retire following decades of service to the company, effective November 1.

In a memo sent to CBS staff, Schwartz wrote: "As fans of arcane SEC filings have noted, I had the option of stepping away early this past summer, but given the exigencies of corporate life at that juncture, I elected to stay in place for a while."

He added that now seems like a "much more appropriate" time to move on.

"The corporation is establishing a new direction, full of hope and promise," he wrote in the memo. "And I still have a lot of writing to do, in an atmosphere of perhaps some greater serenity."

Besides being a confidant of ousted CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves, Schwartz moonlighted as a Fortune columnist and novelist under the pen name Stanley Bing. Writing from anonymity, he produced reams of material about the minutiae and politics of "bullshit jobs" and "crazy bosses."

Comms EVPs Dana McLintock, based in New York, and Chris Ender, based in Los Angeles, will continue in their roles as CBS prepares to announce a new chief comms officer shortly, according a person familiar with the matter.

McClintock and Ender stepped into their current roles in 2013. At the time, The Hollywood Reporter said Ender focuses on "content and distribution activities for TV production, syndication, international TV, pay cable, Internet, and feature films," while McClintock is responsible for "corporate, network, interactive and local radio, TV, and outdoor."

Corporate comms will continue to be overseen by Kelli Raftery, comms at CBS News by Christa Robinson, CBS Sports by Jen Sabatelle, Showtime by Johanna Fuentes, CBS Interactive by Susan Lundgren, Simon & Schuster by Adam Rothberg, CBS Television Stations by Mike Nelson, and CBS Photography by Gail Plautz.

CBS does not have any agencies retained, a person familiar with the matter said. For a time, CBS retained Joele Frank for comms support as it battled a merger with Viacom. Moonves bucked the idea of merging CBS with Viacom, but now with a new board, the company is reportedly more open to the idea.

Joele Frank is no longer working with the company, a source familiar with the matter said.

Neither Schwartz nor a CBS representative were immediately available for comment.

"I started at this job back when we all worked on dedicated word processors and the phrase ‘I’ll get back to you tomorrow’ was considered a rapid response," Schwartz wrote in the memo. "Today, it is not uncommon for reporters to call after they post a story to see if they need to make any corrections. But, as the world has changed, so have we, and I believe this department continues to define excellence in what we do. I’m very proud of that and always will be, and of all of you."

Schwartz’s retirement coincides with the resignation of Moonves, who stepped down earlier this month after numerous women alleged he coerced them into performing sexual acts, per The New Yorker.

Moonves said three of the relationships described by the women were consensual. He added the relationships took place 25 years before he started working at CBS.

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