Sonya McNair is leaving as SVP Communications at CBS News. Here is the internal memo sent out this afternoon by CBS News chief David Rhodes and CBS Corp. SEVP Communications Gil Schwartz:
Regrettably, Sonya McNair approached us recently to say she intends to leave CBS for personal reasons. Sonya has been our Senior Vice President for Communications since June 2011, having joined CBS News in 2009. Given the portfolio of duties Sonya has shouldered these past four years, we appreciate her feelings in this matter and want to support her in her decision.
It’s been an eventful time since Sonya took over the Communications portfolio for the News Division. She helped us attract the right kind of attention to the launch of the CBS This Morning. She brought the same focus to the launch of CBSN last year, and again to the transition on Face the Nation this past summer. Not to mention countless brushfires—naturally-occurring and man-made—in between. For all that work we are very grateful.
Before coming to CBS, Sonya had a varied career at the New Yorker (including the campaign for the New Yorker Festival), at Essence Communications within Time Inc, and overseeing East Coast media relations for Fox Broadcasting. Back before all that were 16 years at ABC News where she helped represent some of that organization’s most notable journalists.
Sonya has agreed to stay on for a period of time to help us identify and support a new SVP for Communications. We are beginning discussions with candidates for the role now and anticipate that she will be with us at least through Thanksgiving while we find the best leadership for the department and support a new colleague coming onboard. Thanks to Sonya in advance for that transition, and please join us in the meantime thanking her for her six years here at CBS News.