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.
"Jeff is a news guy through and through," says CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves. "He has it in his blood." The EP of 60 Minutes since 2004 and chairman of CBS News since 2011, Fager has been on a mission: to graft the 60 Minutes DNA -- original reporting and investigations -- onto the rest of the news division.
The result has been more cross-pollination between Scott Pelley's CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes, as well as an uptick in viewership, not to mention a division known solely for news, not its personalities making headlines (unlike ABC and NBC). Evening News has posted two consecutive years of growth, the first time since the advent of electronic ratings records. Meanwhile, CBS This Morning, which last summer added seasoned Washington reporter Norah O'Donnell to the anchor table with Charlie Rose and Gayle King, is up 14 percent this season.
Fager, 58, and CBS News president David Rhodes are not beholden to market research or second-guessing from corporate overlords. "If we think [a story is] important, we're going to tell it well," says Fager, who is married with three kids in their 20s, including one who is a producer at Vice Media. "The onus is on us to make it as interesting as we can."
MY MENTOR: "[60 Minutes creator] Don Hewitt, who taught me more than anybody else about what we do. But my role model was my dad, who is a better man than Don and me combined."