CBS Corp. (CBS), owner of the most-watched U.S. television network, promoted Chief Financial Officer Joe Ianniello to the newly created post of chief operating officer, elevating Les Moonves’s top lieutenant.
Ianniello, 45, will continue to manage the company’s financial operations while taking on new responsibilities as its COO. He joined CBS when it split off from parent company Viacom Inc. (VIAB) in 2006 and was named CFO three years later.
“Joe’s role in CBS’s success these past several years has been extraordinary,” Moonves, the company’s 63-year-old chief executive officer, said in a statement today announcing the appointment. “I am proud to promote Joe to this new position, which not only recognizes the many contributions he has already made, but sets him up for all the great work yet to be done.”
Ianniello has had a big hand in helping to expand CBS’s revenue through higher licensing fees for its programming from pay-TV operators. Those payments, called retransmission revenue, rose 62 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier.
The network has also benefited from licensing older seasons of current shows such as “The Good Wife” to streaming-video outlets like Amazon.com and Hulu LLC. Advertising in the most recent quarter rose 8 percent, fueled by the Super Bowl.
According to company filings, Moonves’s employment agreement ends in the middle of 2017, when he will be 67.
CBS fell 1.8 percent to $48.22 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 27 percent this year.
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