Victor Neufeld, former executive producer of ABC's 20/20 and most
recently senior executive producer of ABC's newsmagazines, is joining CBS News'
The Early Show as executive producer, working under Michael Bass, senior executive producer of the least-watched but somewhat-revived morning news
show that revamped itself last October.
CBS News has never been much of a player in the morning, lagging behind NBC's
Today show, the long-time ratings champ, and ABC's Good Morning
America. But for the week of Aug. 4, with 2.57 million viewers, a 2.1
rating and 8 share, The Early Show was as close to GMA in viewers
and households as it's been in more than one-and-a-half years.
Neufeld, who spent 30 years at ABC, admitted that it seemed strange to be leaving, but he wouldn't discuss his contract there, concentrating instead on the
"unique exit ramp" The Early Show provides. He said as he discussed
moving to CBS with executives there, "It got to be a very exciting thought."
Neufeld was executive producer of ABC's 20/20 from 1987-2000. The
show won piles of Emmy Awards and other awards and, although never quite as prestigious
as 60 Minutes, was often worthy of being mentioned in the same breath.
Promoted to senior executive producer at ABC in 2000, he oversaw the
now-three hours of magazines ABC does weekly, but he said, "The shows, with their
own executive producers, run themselves pretty well ... The key is that I now
have this great challenge. It's exciting to be called upon. I'm positive CBS is
making a very serious effort, and I'm rarin' to go." Neufeld starts at CBS Sept.
As for Neufeld possibly having some future role at 60 Minutes or 60
Minutes II, he said, "It never came up. This is all about Victor Neufeld
doing something new for himself."