CBS Taps Amazon Executive as Chief Marketing Officer

Longtime network marketing chief George Schweitzer will serve as chairman of the division in 2019-20 before handing the reins to Mike Benson.
Courtesy of CBS (2)
George Schweitzer (left), Mike Benson

CBS has named a successor to longtime network marketing head George Schweitzer, although Schweitzer isn't stepping down anytime soon.

Schweitzer has been named chairman of CBS Marketing, a position he'll hold through the 2019-20 season. The network has also hired Amazon executive Mike Benson as president and chief marketing officer; he's due to start in October. In the spring, Benson will take over as chairman and Schweitzer will transition to a role as special adviser to the company.

"George Schweitzer is a marketing legend whose leadership and showmanship has defined both excellence and innovation,” said CBS chief creative officer David Nevins. "His résumé of accomplishment spans every division and daypart of CBS, with boundless admiration and respect for his work coming from every corner of the company. From Super Bowls and 60 Minutes to long-running primetime hits and late night franchises, he and his team have played a huge role in making CBS one of America's leading brands. We're incredibly proud to appoint him to this new position and thrilled to draw upon his considerable expertise into the future."

Benson comes to CBS from Amazon Studios, where he's served as head of marketing since 2015. During his time there he led marketing efforts for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Jack Ryan, The Man in the High Castle and other series; his and his team's work has won 17 Clio Awards.

Prior to Amazon, Benson was chief creative officer for the Time Warner Global Media Group and spent a dozen years at Disney, serving as executive vp marketing for ABC Entertainment Group.

"I'm extremely grateful that when George decided it was time to set a transition, he committed himself to ensuring a bright future for CBS Marketing, and we think we’ve found the next perfect leader with Mike, whose breadth of experience matches all parts of our content business," said Nevins. "Mike has been an accomplished, award-winning marketing leader at several major media companies, driving marketing for Amazon Studios and Prime Video through this period of growth for their original content strategy, and orchestrating cutting-edge campaigns for many of ABC’s network-defining series. At every turn, Mike’s work has been recognized for creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit that makes shows and brands stand above the crowd. Mike’s appointment is also an exciting homecoming as he started his career at CBS stations WCCO and KCBS and later worked at Viacom’s MTV Networks at VH1."

Schweitzer has headed CBS marketing since 1994. During his tenure he introduced several concepts, including the first video-in-print advertising and the development of CBS Outernet, which brings network content to high-traffic consumer environments. He has received the Promax Brand Builder and Pinnacle awards and has twice been named to the Advertising Age Marketing 100.