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CBS News President Susan Zirinsky stepped down after a corporate meeting in which she wrote on a piece of paper ‘‘I hate my job” and “held it over her head in protest,” according to a source.
It was announced Tuesday that Zirinsky — who is famed for shepherding the career of Gayle King — is stepping down after two years in the role and will instead sign a production deal with parent company ViacomCBS.
But Page Six is told that there were some not-so subtle signs that she wasn’t happy in the role.
A source said, “There was a CBS corporate budget meeting she was in — it dragged on and on — and at one point Susan wrote on a piece of paper ‘I hate my job’ and just held it over her head in protest.”
Zirinsky, known as Z, was a universally respected producer with a 40-year career at the network before replacing longtime president David Rhodes at the helm.
But sources say that it became almost immediately clear that Zirinsky was less content wrangling marquee talent and managing vast budgets.
“They’ve known they were going to replace Z forever,” said an insider of the search for her replacement, with a second source telling us that the network has been actively interviewing for a successor since before Christmas.
A third said, “The network needs someone who can keep the talent happy, and keep them in line at the same time. That’s no small challenge.”
We’re told she lost some support among staffers after moving the “CBS Evening News” broadcast to Washington, DC, apparently at the behest of anchor Norah O’Donnell. (CBS denied at the time that O’Donnell was the impetus for the move.)
Zirinsky is expected to stay in the role until a successor is appointed. Early considerations for her replacement include “Today” vet Jim Bell, superstar “Late Show” producer Chris Licht, CNN’s Virginia Moseley and MSNBC’s Janelle Rodriguez, we’re told.
A spokesperson for CBS News and Zirinsky declined to comment.
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