The Hollywood Reporter Names 2013's 35 Most Powerful People in Media
This story first appeared in the April 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Rhodes is no stranger to power. The 39-year-old counts CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves, Fox News chief Roger Ailes and billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg among his mentors.
Moonves, he says, imparted an expertise for picking talent. Ailes, whom Rhodes still talks to after 12 years at Fox News, taught him to focus on the onscreen picture: "You can't for a moment look inferior to the other guys," he says. And from Bloomberg -- Rhodes was head of U.S. television operations at Bloomberg TV for 2½ years -- he learned the benefit of transparency in the workplace. "The worst aspect of these media organizations is the culture of [gossip]. You can devalue gossip if you share more information."
So when Rhodes, CBS News chairman Jeff Fager and CBS This Morning exec producer Chris Licht realized in the summer that Norah O'Donnell was a better fit with Charlie Rose and Gayle King than Erica Hill, they pulled the trigger quickly. "It was a very smooth transition," says the married father of two young boys. "I think everybody appreciated that."
It also stands in contrast to a certain other morning-show transition that transpired in 2012. "I'll allow you to draw your own conclusions," says Rhodes. "But if you ask me what I am proudest of in the last year, it's that."
SHOW ON A COMPETING NETWORK I WATCH MOST: "It's a pretty good bet I'm watching PBS' Charlie Rose while you're reading this."