CBS said it named Russ Berhman as executive VP, ad sales strategy, planning and administration.
Berhman, who had been senior VP, takes over for Dean Kaplan, who is retiring, effective Tuesday, after 37 years at CBS.
“Russ has always aimed to sell the buying power of the entire CBS audience in innovative, sophisticated ways, and he has succeeded again and again,” said Jo Ann Ross, president and chief advertising revenue officer at CBS in a staff memo.
Berhman has been with CBS for 34 years and has run the Television Network Sales Planning Group since 1996.
He began his career as an on-air local sports anchor for WTVX-TV, which was then the CBS affiliate in Fort Pierce, Fla.
Kaplan became senior VP, Television Network Sales Planning and Administration for CBS since 1999 and was promoted to executive VP in 2015.
“He has truly been unbeatable in providing expert guidance on the ever-changing marketplace and growing new technologies,” Ross said.
“After he finishes up here, Dean plans to spend time with his family, travel with his wife, maybe take a course and learn something new. We will miss him greatly, but know he will take full advantage of this next chapter,” Ross added in her memo.
Here is the full memo from Ross:
After more than 37 years with our company, Dean Kaplan is retiring today from his position of Executive Vice President, Sales Strategy, Planning & Administration. Dean, a dedicated and tireless member of our team, has been indispensable to CBS, serving as Senior Vice President, Television Network Sales Planning and Administration for the Network since 1999, before his promotion to EVP in 2015.
He has led the planning, estimating and pricing of all commercial television inventory at CBS including the Upfront and scatter marketplaces. He has also been an invaluable asset in developing strategy, particularly regarding our marketplace position for all dayparts throughout the year. Dean has worked across the divisions, collaborating with Finance on revenue optimization, CBS Research on rating metrics and monetization, and CBS Entertainment on providing financial input and support on new programming and scheduling. He has truly been unbeatable in providing expert guidance on the ever-changing marketplace and growing new technologies.
Prior to being named EVP, Dean held numerous positions within the CBS Sales Department including Senior Vice President, Sales Planning and Administration; Vice President, Olympics Sales for Nagano in 1998; Director, Olympic Sales for Lillehammer in 1994; and Account Executive selling News, Late Night, Daytime and Primetime. Before coming to CBS, he spent seven years planning and buying network television at Foote, Cone and Belding, Young & Rubicam, William Esty and Needham Harper & Steers.
After he finishes up here, Dean plans to spend time with his family, travel with his wife, maybe take a course and learn something new. We will miss him greatly, but know he will take full advantage of this next chapter.
As difficult as it is to see Dean leave, I am very pleased to announce that Russ Behrman will be taking over as Executive Vice President, Sales Strategy, Planning & Administration upon Dean’s departure. Russ’ history with the Company, leadership in the creation of our Phoenix computer system, and the expertise he brings to the table as we move forward with TV/digital convergence make him uniquely qualified for this new role. I have no doubt this will be another great example of a seamless leadership transition.
Russ has been with CBS for just over 34 years. He has been running the Television Network Sales Planning Group since 1996, serving as Vice President then Senior Vice president, responsible for crafting selling estimates, pricing, overseeing inventory management, generating sales proposals in all dayparts, mentoring young Planners, and working closely with Dean and me. Throughout this time, Russ has always aimed to sell the buying power of the entire CBS audience in innovative, sophisticated ways, and he has succeeded again and again.
Prior to joining Network Sales, Russ was Director in charge of the Sales Analysis Finance group (1989-1996), working with the programming divisions to analyze program performance, profitability of shows and dayparts and bidding of sports contracts. Before that, he was part of a strategic planning group that moved the Network into cable acquisitions and new technologies. He began his career working as an on-air local sports anchor for then-CBS affiliate WTVX-TV, in Fort Pierce, Fla. – which really prepared him for working with us in Sales, I’m sure!
Please join me in warmly thanking Dean for his years of dedication and service to our company and wishing him the best as he embarks on a new chapter. And please also join me in congratulating Russ on his new position. It is an exciting time in our industry, and we are very fortunate to have Russ take the lead.