Martin Franks, executive VP of planning, policy and
government affairs for CBS, is retiring effective Sept. 30.
Franks has been instrumental in CBS' retrans negotiations
and has been a top exec, based out of both New York and Washington.
"It is with considerable reluctance that I have
accepted Marty Franks' decision to retire, effective Sept. 30. At the same
time, of course, I wish him nothing but the very best in that retirement,"
CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves said in an email to staffers.
"This is my 25th year at CBS, and as you may have heard
from Leslie this morning, it will also be my last," Franks said in his own
Franks joined CBS in 1988 as VP, Washington, handling the company's relationship with government entities, most notably the Hill and the FCC.
He was named SVP, Washington, in 1994. In 1997, he became SVP, CBS Corp., in charge of corporate relations, including government affairs, investor relations and corporate communications. Wiith the merger of CBS and Viacom in 2000, Franks was named EVP of CBS Television and SVP of Viacom.
Franks came to CBS from a Hill career that included posts with President Jimmy Carter and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).
Moonves had high praise for Franks' contributions to the company's success.
"The CBS we know today would not have been possible
without Marty's contributions over the past 25 years," he wrote. "His
achievements are almost too numerous to mention. For example, he was
instrumental in enacting Retransmission Consent, and then helped turn it into
what is now a fast-growing, nine-figure revenue source for our Company.
"Marty also played a key role in helping repeal the
Financial Interest and Syndication Rules that helped make it possible for
broadcast networks to own the programs we air, and then syndicate them both at
home and abroad. As a result, our CSI franchise alone has earned more than $3
billion for the Company, and the ownership of content has become a cornerstone
of our success," Moonves said.
"If there was ever an unsung superstar in the broadcast business, it was Marty Franks. For a quarter of a century, Marty has personified professionalism at CBS," said National Association of Broadcasters President Gordon Smith. "His wise Washington guidance helped broadcasters procure retransmission consent fees in the 1992 Cable Act; as Leslie Moonves's 'go-to guy' in New York, Marty has provided counsel and advice as solid as a Black Rock. The NAB family wishes Marty a long and active retirement."
The emails from Moonves and Franks announcing the move are repringted below.
From: A Message from Leslie Moonves
Subject: Marty Franks' Retirement
It is with considerable reluctance that I have accepted
Marty Franks' decision to retire, effective Sept. 30. At the same time, of
course, I wish him nothing but the very best in that retirement.
The CBS we know today would not have been possible without
Marty's contributions over the past 25 years. His achievements are almost too
numerous to mention. For example, he was instrumental in enacting
Retransmission Consent, and then helped turn it into what is now a
fast-growing, nine-figure revenue source for our Company.
Marty also played a key role in helping repeal the Financial
Interest and Syndication Rules that helped make it possible for broadcast
networks to own the programs we air, and then syndicate them both at home and
abroad. As a result, our CSI franchise alone has earned more than $3 billion
for the Company, and the ownership of content has become a cornerstone of our
Despite these extremely significant contributions, though,
Marty's greatest asset to CBS may be his good humor and charm, and his uncanny
ability to take on disparate tasks and get them done with skill and grace.
These traits have generated enormous goodwill for us over the years. In an
announcement years ago, I referred to Marty as both "glue and grease"
at CBS: glue helping to hold together our many parts, and the grease helping
all those parts to work together more smoothly. We are all better off for his
many, largely unsung efforts in this vein.
On a personal note, it has been a true pleasure working with
Marty for all these years. He helped set up the new CBS for its extraordinary
success, and has been a great friend along the way. I will miss him greatly.
Luckily, we will still be able to enjoy the pleasure of his
company for another several months, leaving plenty of time for a smooth
transition of his duties. In the meantime, please join me in wishing Marty and
his wife Sherry - herself a 20-year CBS veteran - well as they prepare for all
that is in their future together.
From: A Message from Marty Franks
Subject: My next chapter
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
This is my 25th year at CBS, and as you may have heard from
Leslie this morning, it will also be my last. I will retire on Sept. 30 in
order to embark on the next chapter of my life.
I am all too aware of the frailty of life, and having been
lucky enough to find happiness for a second time, my non-CBS "To-Do"
list is long, and I want to turn to it while my wife Sherry and I still have a
zest for exploring the adventures that lie ahead.
But CBS is a special place, and it will not be easy to step
away. So many colleagues have become close friends, from the mail room to the
Board Room, on both coasts and in between.
I look back upon a working lifetime of friends: first in
Washington, then those I was lucky to come to know at other networks and
broadcasting companies, and in so many television and radio stations across the
country, to say nothing of reporters, suppliers, MVPDs and studios.
All friends and colleagues who helped me, fed me, inspired
me and comforted me during good times and bad.
I have also had great bosses who gave me wonderful
opportunities: Larry and Bob Tisch, Jay Kriegel, Howard Stringer, Peter Lund,
Mike Jordan, Mel Karmazin and, for nearly half of my CBS career, Leslie
Moonves. Leslie called on me to play a supporting role in the incredible job he
has done to build the new CBS, and for that and so much more, I will always be
It has been a great run - enacting Retrans and then having
the opportunity, years later, to monetize it; the repeal of Fin/Syn and the
Prime Time Access Rule; the '96 Telcom Act; setting up the industry's minority
investment fund; serving on the Boards of NAB, MSTV, the Ad Council, and
especially the Sept. 11 Fund; CBS's HDTV leadership; trying to uphold Broadcast
Standards during a wardrobe malfunction, the content wars, my very own Chuck
Lorre vanity card and two related and successful trips to the Supreme Court;
CBS Cares, the CBS Foundation and CBS Corporate Philanthropy...
These next four months will provide plenty of
time for an orderly transition, and also afford me the chance to thank as many
of you as I can in person, but today, know now how grateful I am and will
always be to each of you.