CBS Business Operations Head Deborah Barak to Step Down

Deborah Barak - Publicity - H 2020
Sonja Flemming/CBS

Longtime CBS executive Deborah Barak will leave the network at the end of the year.

Barak, president of business operations for CBS Entertainment, CBS Television Studios and CBS News, will depart the company after more than 30 years in the latest change to the network's management structure. 

Barak was a key member of former network boss Les Moonves' team and will be exiting as CBS once again merges with Viacom — though she has been planning her departure since before the two companies came back under one umbrella (as they were before splitting in 2006). Word of her departure also follows that of CBS TV Studios business affairs head Dan Kupetz, who took a job running that department at Disney's 20th Century Fox TV; Allison Brightman was elevated to replace him. 

"Debby is someone who intentionally keeps a low profile, but has a very big presence within our halls and will leave a legacy of accomplishments that will benefit CBS for years to come," CBS chairman and CEO Joe Ianniello said Monday in a statement. "In her role, she has "negotiated our biggest talent deals and far-reaching licensing agreements, as well as created new business models to expand our programming portfolio. Debby’s deal-making and business acumen have supported CBS in its run as the No. 1 network and the rise of CBS Television Studios to a powerhouse production company with more than 75 series. Her business guidance and license fee templates have also helped CBS All Access grow in the original content space."

Ianniello also said Barak had previously signaled her intention to leave CBS at the end of her current contract. "When that day comes, she will be missed and all of us will wish her much success in every future endeavor," he said. "At the same time, the company is fortunate to have her here until the end of the year to help us chart future leadership and strategies for the business operations at the network and studio."

Barak has been in her current post since 2015, having served as executive vp business operations for the CBS Network Television Entertainment Group prior to that. 

Barak is the latest in a string of executives from the Moonves era to set a departure date from CBS. She follows marketing head George Schweitzer, who is leaving at the end of the current TV season; casting chief Peter Golden; and former chief communications officer Gil Schwartz.  

Deadline first reported the news.