CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl Exits

Kelly Kahl is stepping down as president of CBS Entertainment after decades in the role, Variety has learned.

His departure was announced in an email from CBS CEO George Cheeks to staff on Wednesday, as well as a memo from Kahl himself.

See Cheeks’ memo to staff, obtained by Variety, below.

Team – I want you to be aware of an important transition happening today. As part of a restructuring and streamlining of CBS Entertainment’s leadership, Kelly Kahl, our esteemed colleague and division president, will be leaving CBS by the end of the year.

Below is the memo Kelly sent to his team this morning. We’ll have more information on the new leadership structure very soon, but right now I really want to focus on Kelly and the incredible legacy she’s leaving on this network.

Kelly is without peer in the television business. He is the architect of primetime programming that has made CBS #1 for 19 of the past 20 seasons. He’s the masterful and fearless programmer who moved SURVIVOR and CSI to Thursdays, changing the landscape of that night after a decade of NBC dominance.

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As president of Entertainment, he introduced hit shows such as THE NEIGHBORHOOD, THE EQUALIZER, NCIS: HAWAI’I, THREE FBI, FIRE COUNTRY and GHOSTS and was the passionate steward of CBS’ hit reality franchises. More generally, Kelly has been a staunch advocate for the vitality of broadcast television while being a steadfast and respected leader of the network in good times as well as turbulent times.

Without a doubt, Kelly has spent the last 26 years building CBS and setting it up for even greater success. He has been humble, kind and generous to his peers every step of the way.

On a personal note, I want to thank Kelly for being a valuable colleague and sounding board over the past two and a half years.

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Please join me in offering my heartfelt thanks to Kelly for all of his contributions to CBS and in wishing him the best in the future.


And Kahl’s note here:

cbs friends,

the wonderful and unlikely journey that began for me here 26 years ago has reached the finish line. I will be leaving CBS at the end of this year.

It has been an absolute honor and privilege to work for CBS, America’s most popular network. (I’ll never get tired of hearing that.) I got to live a TV fan’s dream of working with the most talented writers, producers and actors on TV. Most importantly, I loved being in the trenches with all of you — the show’s best execs and employees. I want to thank every single person I’ve worked with for your great efforts, creativity, and professionalism that have helped make this massive, groundbreaking network #1 for nearly 20 years straight. this place is special and so are its people.

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I started here as a developer when we were 3rd part and I enjoyed fighting in 1St, but I am especially proud of our accomplishments during my tenure as chairman of entertainment over the past five years. we delivered tangible improvements in diversity and inclusion in front of and behind the camera, kept our teams united and focused during the pandemic, and launched numerous hit series that maintained CBS’s #1 status.

I have been fortunate to develop strong friendships with many of you and will cherish memories of great adventures at upfronts, press tours, location shoots, final fours and super bowls. I hope and believe that these ties will continue to progress.

my best to you all. it’s been a great ride and I’m excited to see what’s next. until then, hope to see you in the basement…

I buy.




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