JACK SUSSMAN PROMOTED TO EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, SPECIALS, MUSIC AND LIVE EVENTS, CBS ENTERTAINMENT
CBS's Top Specials Executive to Expand Duties, Becoming the Chief Liaison Between the Network and the Music Industry, To Facilitate the Integration of Music Into All Areas of CBS Programming
Jack Sussman, who has been Senior Vice President, Specials, CBS Entertainment since December 2000, has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Specials, Music and Live Events, CBS Entertainment, a newly created position in which he will also serve as the Network's chief liaison to the music industry. The announcement was made today by Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment, to whom Sussman reports.
Sussman, who has been head of CBS specials since 1998, will continue to oversee the Network's blue chip events and specials such as "The Grammy Awards" and "People's Choice Awards." He will also take on the added responsibility of working with managers, recording artists, record labels and music suppliers to identify new and established performers whose music or personal appearances can be integrated into the Network's primetime series, movies, specials and live events. Sussman will also work with CBS's digital media division to identify music-related content for wireless and the Internet.
In addition to specials and music, Sussman will remain CBS's executive in charge of live event entertainment programming, such as "Survivor" finales and reunion specials.
"Jack's extensive background, contacts and expertise in the music industry make him the ideal person to become CBS's go-to executive for all music-related enterprises," said Nancy Tellem, President, CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group. "Music has always been a defining element of pop culture, and we're seeing more producers weave contemporary music into their programs for heightened creative impact. Now, for the first time, the music industry will have a direct point person at CBS to facilitate this process, as well as develop new and creative ideas to marry the two mediums."
"Jack has been the creative force behind our annual big events, from the 'The Grammys' to 'The Tonys' to the 'The Academy of Country Music Awards,' while introducing many of the highest rated event specials of the last few years," said Tassler. "His vision and relationships have brought many of contemporary music's biggest stars to CBS, and we look forward to Jack developing the next generation of exciting specials and live events to entertain our viewers."
During the past few years, Sussman spearheaded successful Network specials featuring some of contemporary music's top stars in their first network television special, including Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Ricky Martin, Faith Hill, Elton John, Tina Turner and Barry Manilow.
Sussman has been responsible for some of CBS's highest rated and most critically acclaimed event programs, including "The Carol Burnett Show: Show Stoppers," which was seen by more than 30 million viewers, "Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special," "I Love Lucy 50th Anniversary Special," "CBS At 75" and the "AFI 100" specials.
Sussman joined CBS in August 1998 as Vice President, Specials, from Cinecanal, where he led the programming and creative services reorganization of the Latin American movie channel that is jointly owned by Universal, Paramount, MGM and FOX.
From 1996-97, Sussman was Vice President, Head of Programming for MTV Latin America, responsible for production and original programming, development, music programming, scheduling, talent and artist relations, news and on-air promotion.
Prior to that, he served as Vice President of Production and Original Programming at VH1 from 1992-95, where he developed and produced new series and specials. Sussman's background also includes positions at CNN and NBC News.
As an executive producer/producer, his credits include "The VH1 Honors," the live concert series "Centerstage," "Paul McCartney at the Hollywood Bowl," "MTV Latin America: MTV Unplugged," "Conversations with The Rolling Stones," "Amnesty International 'Conspiracy of Hope' Tour" and "Stand Up Spotlight."
Sussman is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (B.A., Radio, Television and Motion Pictures).