Broadcast's longest-serving entertainment chief is heading for the exit.
Nina Tassler, CBS Entertainment chairman, will depart at the end of the year, CBS announced today. She will be succeeded by Glenn Geller, who previously worked under Tassler as evp, current programming, for CBS Network Television Entertainment Group. He has been named CBS Entertainment president effective immediately.
Tassler has run CBS Entertainment since 2004 and has been with the network since 1997. CBS said she will continue on as an advisor until at least 2017.
"Nina is a creative executive with the instincts of an artist, so it came as no surprise that she would eventually want to express those talents beyond television," said Les Moonves, CBS Corp. president and CEO, in a statement. "All of us here are grateful and proud of CBS' success with Nina leading our entertainment programming, and we will be the biggest fans for all her future endeavors."
"I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Leslie, my colleagues at CBS and all the actors, producers and writers who were part of this incredible journey. I will always love this place, yet it is time for my next chapter, and I'm thrilled that I can pursue my other creative interests while still being part of the Company. I pass the baton to Glenn with great confidence and pride. He is an outstanding leader with great respect for the artistic process and a clear vision for programming success," said Tassler in a statement.
Moonves praised Geller as "an accomplished programming executive who has been a major part of CBS' success since 2001."
"When Nina told me her plans, we both knew we had an obvious successor in our own ranks," Moonves continued. "Glenn brings outstanding skills to all parts of the creative and production process, and he has led large programming teams both at the Network and Studio that oversee our biggest franchises and hit programs. He's worked under the best with Nina and David Stapf, and is very ready to assume this larger role."
The news comes as CBS enters the new TV season with the strongest crop of fall shows of all the broadcast networks and, with the help of Super Bowl 50, looks to end NBC's reign among adults ages 18 to 49.
Tassler gave no indication that she was planning to step down when she spoke last month at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour, touting the network's fall schedule, which kicks off next week, and its ability to draw viewers—and make money—no matter how the industry evolves in years to come. "Whatever the future of our business is … CBS will be represented in all these conversations," Tassler said at the time. But she will no longer be a part of those talks.
This is the second major leadership change for CBS Corp. in recent months. In June, the company said Showtime president David Nevins would take over as CEO on Jan. 1 from Matthew Blank, who will stay on as chairman.