We are pleased to announce CBS President and Chief Executive Officer George Cheeks as the Honorary Chair of NAMIC’s 35th Annual Conference. The conference will take place virtually, October 5 – 8, 2021, and provide a global platform for emerging and thought leaders to discuss topics ranging from culturally competent marketing to social justice.
George Cheeks assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS, in March 2020. He oversees CBS-branded assets within ViacomCBS, including CBS Television Network, which encompasses CBS Entertainment, CBS News and CBS Sports, as well as CBS Studios, CBS Stations, and CBS Media Ventures, its first-run syndication business.
“George embodies our theme, ‘Removing Obstacles. Magnifying Opportunities,’ and I am honored to have him as the honorary chair for NAMIC’s 35th Annual Conference,” said Shuanise Washington, the president and CEO of NAMIC, Inc. “As a stalwart for multicultural representation in media, George’s leadership and voice are critical to continuing conversations about the advancement of diversity, equity, access and inclusion in the cable, media and entertainment industry.”
In Summer 2021, Cheeks added the role of Chief Content Officer, News and Sports, Paramount+, extending the world-class content from CBS News and CBS Sports to the streaming super service, and responsibility for global content strategy for ViacomCBS’ free-to-air networks in the United Kingdom, Australia and Argentina.
“It is an absolute privilege for me to serve as Honorary Chair for NAMIC’s 35th Annual Conference, especially during this critical moment in our nation’s history,” said Cheeks. “We are bringing to this year’s conference some of the best minds in the cable, media and entertainment industry to share their experiences, educate and motivate. With a renewed focus on ‘Removing Barriers and Magnifying Opportunities,’ I’m committed to doing my part to help continue the upward trajectory of our industry.”
Prior to joining CBS, Cheeks served more than seven years at NBCUniversal in senior executive positions that spanned creative, business and operational roles. Most recently, he was Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal Content Studios and was also in charge of late night programming for NBC Entertainment.
Previously, Cheeks was Co-Chairman of NBC Entertainment and was jointly responsible for overseeing primetime, late night and scripted daytime programming for the network, including business affairs, marketing, communications, scheduling, West Coast research and digital operations, as well as first-run syndication.
Prior to being named Co-Chairman, Cheeks served as Co-President, Universal Cable Productions and Wilshire Studios as well as President, Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment, where he oversaw the network’s lucrative and successful late night slate. Prior to that role, Cheeks was President of Business Operations and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment.
Cheeks joined NBC in 2012 after serving as Executive Vice President, Business Affairs and General Counsel, Viacom Music and Entertainment Groups, Content Distribution and Marketing, as well as Head of Standards and Practices for Viacom Media Networks, in New York. In his first stint with Viacom starting in 1998, he began working as Senior Counsel for MTV Networks in the Business and Legal Affairs Department for the Nickelodeon Group. While there, he ascended to positions of increasing responsibility, and in 2005 he was elevated to Executive Vice President and General Counsel for MTV, MTV2, MTVu, MTV Films, VH1, CMT and LOGO.
Cheeks began his career as an Entertainment Associate at Loeb & Loeb from 1992 – 1994. In addition, he served as Senior Counsel, Business and Legal Affairs, for Castle Rock Entertainment from 1995-1997, and worked as an entertainment attorney at the boutique entertainment firm of Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren & Richman, in Beverly Hills from 1997-1998.
A graduate of Yale University (Phi Beta Kappa), Cheeks received his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School (cum laude).
“George’s eminence and commitment to the broadcast, media and entertainment industry will help us shape a new NAMIC conference,” said Washington. “I am looking forward to working with George to bring leading experts across the industry landscape to address some of the most pressing challenges facing our industry today.”