Eric Ober Out as CBS News President
NEW YORK (AP) _ Eric Ober, who headed CBS News for five stormy years, is leaving the network, a CBS News spokeswoman said today.
In an internal memo issued this morning, Ober, who has been with the network for three decades, told colleagues that CBS President Peter Lund ``has decided to make a change in the presidency of CBS News.″ Ober’s memo said he was leaving Jan. 12.
Neither Ober nor other CBS executives were available for comment. However, the dismissal was confirmed by Sandy Genelius, a CBS News spokeswoman.
Genelius said no successor had been named.
Andrew Heyward, producer of ``The CBS Evening News,″ is widely considered by CBS News insiders as front-runner to be Ober’s replacement.
Ober’s departure had been expected for months, as CBS News reeled from plunging morale and ratings, as well as from CBS’ transition to new ownership by Westinghouse Electric.
When Westinghouse announced its new CBS management team a month ago, some observers were surprised that Ober remained. Even so, he was given little more than a tepid endorsement.
Ober joined CBS in 1966 and spent the next three decades both in and out of the network’s news operations. He rose to the head of the News division in August 1990. Before that, he was president of the CBS owned-and-operated stations.
His tenure as president was marked by the poor ratings of the flagship ``Evening News,″ and by the pairing of Connie Chung with Dan Rather in a rancorous two-year co-anchorship.