THR's 35 Most Powerful People in Media
Rhodes, 38, learned the TVnews business in the belly of the beast, at Roger Ailes’ Fox News Channel, where he was initiated into the competitive world of cable news as a 22-year-old production assistant in 1996. The New York native’s intelligence and work ethic impressed Ailes, and Rhodes rose through the ranks, becoming vp news before leaving in 2008 to become head of U.S. TV at Bloomberg.
At CBS News, Rhodes, whose younger brother Ben is President Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, oversees all newsgathering and is chairman Jeff Fager’s right hand. Together, Fager and Rhodes have strived to make CBS This Morning a player in the lucrative morning TV arena by differentiating their product from the rest of the a.m. broadcasts. Ratings are down year-over-year, but up in a handful of markets since Charlie Rose and Gayle King joined the broadcast alongside Erica Hill. But the show is a hit internally with such CBS News anchors as Bob Schieffer, Scott Pelley and Lara Logan, who have embraced opportunities to appear on it.
Rhodes — who majored in economics and political science at Rice University in Houston — lives in Brooklyn Heights with his wife and sons, ages 3 and 5, but the subway commute to the CBS Broadcast Center on West 57th Street in Manhattan is beginning to wear on him.
“I’m reading Isaac Singer,” says Rhodes, referring to the Polish emigre who lived in The Belnord Hotel on West 87th Street, “because we’re thinking of moving to the Upper West Side.”