CBS Bosses On First Upfront Without Les Moonves: “It’s Different”

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Former CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves was a towering figure at the broadcast upfronts, soaking up attention at the network’s glitzy Carnegie Hall presentation. Only a year ago, he was met with a standing ovation from ad buyers.

Behind the scenes, he was known for running CBS with an iron fist, making the final decision on everything, including new series pickups and fall schedule.

How was going through the first pilot season without Moonves?

“It was different, I’m not going to pretend that it wasn’t different,” CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl said at the network’s upfront breakfast Wednesday. “Les was a strong leader and definitely had influence over what we do. But we have a team that have been together a lot of time, a lot of talented people.”

Added EVP Programming Thom Sherman, “It was a smooth process.” He pointed to CBS Corp. Chief Creative Officer David Nevins, who oversees the broadcast network.

‘We had a fertile and vigorous debate,” he said. “We came to the schedule fairly quick.”

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