CBS CEO George Cheeks is scrambling to shore up morale at CBS Information, dialing again calls for that staffers work nights and weekends as they lament circumstances beneath the struggling community’s hard-driving boss, The Put up has realized.
Outcomes from an annual “well-being survey” about worker satisfaction at Paramount World — house to CBS, Showtime, MTV and Comedy Central — revealed significantly unhealthy scores from CBS Information staff, in accordance with one supply near the corporate.
That’s on the heels of The Post’s reports of rank-and-file complaints about CBS Information co-president Neeraj Khemlani, who was employed final yr with orders to slash prices and who has since clashed with high-paid newsroom stars including Norah O’Donnell.
Insiders stated newsroom morale has plunged as Khemlani — who some sources have branded as “micromanaging” and “rude” — barrages staff with around-the-clock questions and criticism over their efficiency.
“Neeraj schedules meetings at 7 at night and doesn’t care about people’s lives,” stated one supply.
The survey yielded related complaints, sources stated, prompting Cheeks to take the uncommon step of sending out an electronic mail and video message to staffers final Thursday about bettering the work-life steadiness on the division, in accordance with insiders.
“We need to set a goal avoid sending emails, texts or otherwise engaging on routine matters after hours or over the weekend,” Cheeks stated within the video, which was reviewed by The Put up.
He added that he’s encouraging managers to implement “no-meeting days” or “no-meeting blocks” inside a day. He additionally inspired staff to take “real time off” to “recharge,” after staff griped within the survey about not getting the possibility to totally unplug.
A CBS spokesman famous that Cheeks’ written memo and video message weren’t particularly addressed to the CBS Information division. The spokesman declined to touch upon whether or not complaints at CBS Information had been particularly excessive versus different divisions.
“This was a global email to all CBS employees, it was not directed to or in response to any particular brand or division,” the spokesman stated in an announcement. “Our workplace dynamics across the country are evolving as result of Covid, and the transition to hybrid and agile office structures. Employee well-being is a top priority for CBS in this transition.”
However, Cheeks’ memo was adopted up by a memo from Khemlani and his co-president Wendy McMahon, who echoed Cheeks’ sentiment, underscoring that the “well-being of every CBS employee is a top priority.”
“We’ve heard from many of you that you feel the lines between work time and personal time became blurred when the pandemic began and we were forced to reinvent on the fly how to do our jobs in an unprecedented and difficult environment,” the memo stated. “And we’re mindful of the fact that the past year has being an especially busy time for all of us as we have brought our CBS News and Stations businesses under one umbrella.”
Workers griped that Khemlani’s “ruthless” behavior has created a hostile work atmosphere the place slimmed-down departments are requested to do extra with much less assist. Though CBS Information has introduced in some new hires, it has misplaced swaths of staff through layoffs or attrition in latest months.
“When you’re being asked to do more with less, it contributes to a morale problem,” a supply told The Post. “And when you don’t feel appreciated and you’re not paid well, people vote with their feet.”
As a way to enhance the work atmosphere, the co-presidents advised staff to supply “regular feedback to your supervisor about how you’re feeling about our current Return To Office and hybrid work policy.”
Additionally they stated they are going to be “taking steps to better define and adhere to normal workday hours.” This consists of “reestablishing” and “respecting boundaries” and “limiting after-hours emails, calls and text,” barring emergencies. Additionally they prompt utilizing “Out of Office notifications” on work emails.
The memo added that the execs would attempt to keep away from scheduling late Friday afternoon conferences “unless they are needed to address emergencies, breaking news events or client needs.”
Khemlani has additionally caught flack for his dealings with former London bureau chief Andy Clarke, who left amid multiple disagreements over budget cuts, in addition to a flap over his brother’s consulting firm FTI overseeing plans for CBS Information’ company reorganization.