CBS has made it official, announcing a new leadership team for its Entertainment division. Long-time CBS head of scheduling Kelly Kahl has been promoted to President, CBS Entertainment. The CW’s head of programming Thom Sherman is being named Senior Executive Vice President, Programming. They replace Glenn Gellar, who stepped down as President of Entertainment.
Kahl, who will assume leadership of the Entertainment division effective immediately, will continue to report directly to Leslie Moonves, Chairman and CEO, CBS Corporation. Sherman, who will join CBS from The CW later this week, will oversee creative affairs for entertainment programming in all dayparts and genres, reporting to Kahl.
As part of his new role, Kahl, most recently Senior EVP, CBS Primetime, will also oversee Entertainment matters in Marketing and Promotion, Digital/Interactive, Diversity, Publicity, Research and Scheduling.
Sherman will oversee CBS creative departments such as Comedy, Drama, Alternative, Daytime, Late Night and Specials, as well as Current Programming and Casting.
“This is a dynamic, talented and very experienced executive team to lead a division that will create the next generation of hits for CBS,” said Moonves.
Kelly made his public debut as the face of CBS at the network’s upfront presentation earlier this month where he presented the fall schedule in Geller’s absence.
“Kelly has been part of my team since he was an intern at Lorimar 27 years ago,” added Moonves. “He has a brilliant programming mind, sharp business acumen and great analytical skills for our evolving television audience. He is also highly respected by his colleagues at CBS and our key external stakeholders, and he knows how to make all parts of the network work together to form a winning team.”
The CW is coming off one of its strongest development seasons with six pilots which all had been received well.
“Through our work at The CW, I’ve had a front-row seat to see Thom’s outstanding creative instincts and programming vision in action,” continued Moonves. “He has developed and nurtured an incredible roster of critically acclaimed, commercially successful and fan favorite shows for The CW and other companies. He also has strong relationships across the community, a deft creative touch and a desire for making shows that create a passionate bond with the audience.”
Moonves also addressed the departure of Geller, who is in talks for a producing deal at CBS TV Studios.
“We have great respect for Glenn’s many accomplishments and his tireless efforts over 16 years at CBS – both at the Network and our Studio,” said Moonves. “He’s a smart programmer and loves the creative process, and we look forward to working with him in his new role.”
Kahl has overseen scheduling for CBS for the past 21 years. Some of the key scheduling moves he has made include moving Survivor and CSI to Thursday to successfully take on NBC’s Must See TV, as well as the relocation of The Big Bang Theory to Thursday. In addition to CBS, Kahl has scheduling oversight for The CW Television Network, a joint venture of CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment. He also serves on the board of Pop, a cable network (formerly known as TVGN) that is a joint venture between CBS and Lionsgate Entertainment.
Kahl had been Senior EVP, CBS Primetime, since 2005. He joined CBS in January 1996 as VP, Scheduling, CBS Entertainment, following three years as Director, Network Research at Warner Bros. Television. He joined Lorimar Television in 1990 (before Lorimar and Warner Bros. Television combined operations) as a research intern and quickly rose through the ranks as a research analyst and then manager, before assuming responsibility for the research department in 1993.
Sherman joins CBS from The CW where he was EVP responsible for the development and oversight of its entire slate of primetime programming. During his tenure at The CW, he developed and supervised such series as Arrow, The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, The Flash and Jane the Virgin. On the unscripted side, Sherman developed and supervised Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and was also involved in acquiring Penn & Teller: Fool Us.
From 2004-2006, Sherman was President of J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions, where he helped oversee the first two seasons of Lost and the last two seasons of Alias.
From 1996-2004, Sherman worked in Drama Series Development at ABC, the last five years as department head. While at ABC, he was responsible for the development and/or oversight of such series such as Lost, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Alias, NYPD Blue, The Practice and Once and Again.