CBS Communications Chief Dana McClintock To Exit This Summer After 27 Years At Company

Dana McClintock
Timothy Kuratek/CBS

Following nearly 30 years at CBS, EVP Dana McClintock is heading out the door of the now merged ViacomCBS this summer.

“After 27 years in CBS Communications, I’ve had a hand in writing a variety of goodbye memos, and now it’s time for a version of my own,” McClintock said today in a memo to staff announcing his exit. (read the full memo below).

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The move by the straight-shooting and longtime Black Rock employee comes as CBS boss Joe Ianiello is leaving in the next few weeks and former NBC exec George Cheeks takes over as President and CEO of CBS Entertainment on March 23. Appointed as EVP and Chief Communications Officer at CBS Corp back in October 2018, not long after the axing of Les Moonves and a surge of change at the usually staid company. With Bob Bakish consolidating his grip on the now reunited Viacom CBS, McClintock is expected to walk out the door of the Shari Redstone controlled outfit for good near the beginning of June, I hear.

McClintock’s memo to his fellow CBSers will come as a small surprise with the departure of Ianiello already well in motion and corporate regent Bakish quick to install his own loyal lieutenants in key positions. Today’s news also follows the announcement on February 28 that Justin Dini has been elevated to head of communications and Josh Line has been brought onboard in a newly formed chief brand officer gig at CBS. The chess moves had all been planned for a while and had little to do with each other in terms of timing, sources tell me.

Certainly, little could compete with McClintock’s years and years at CBS, going back to Bill Clinton’s first term and a revolution of sorts in late-night TV.

Having played a role in CBS’ corporate moves for decades, the now 48-year-old McClintock first joined the company in 1993 to help launch CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman. After that, and a brief stint at ABC in the late 1990s, he shifted to running communications for CBS Sports’ Olympics coverage and getting his VP stripes in 1999 to move into the sharp elbows of boardroom and corner offices.

Read McClintock’s full memo that just went out to CBS staff here:

After 27 years in CBS Communications, I’ve had a hand in writing a variety of goodbye memos, and now it’s time for a version of my own. It’s time because the integration of the ViacomCBS Communications Department is well on its way, and I feel confident that we have people in place, from both Companies, to set us up for success going forward. I will continue to assist in this regard right on through my last day which will be June 30.

While some sentimentality is inevitable in times like these, I am pleased to say I feel entirely content that my CBS story is complete. From Letterman press rep to chief communications officer, I have been fortunate to participate in a media evolution that featured immense change, unimaginable challenges and rewarding success.

Along the way I have served some of the biggest and best brands in the business. And as much of a pleasure as that has been, it doesn’t come close to the gratitude I have for the colleagues and reporters that have made me feel welcome, supported me and inspired me, ever since my first day as a 21-year-old at Black Rock. In the end it’s always about the relationships and connections that make any job tenure great, and I’ve had more than my share.

So while I may not be saying goodbye just yet, I am saying thank you, for sharing this ride with me, and for all you’ll do to grow this Company into the future. I look forward to connecting with you again before I depart, and staying in touch beyond that as well…


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