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 NBC's Today show, the long-time ratings champ, and ABC's Good Morning America.
Neufeld, who spent 30 years at ABC, admitted that it seemed strange to be leaving ABC but wouldn't discuss his contract there, concentrating instead on the "unique exit ramp" The Early Show provides. He said that, 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 to 2000, and the show won piles of Emmys and other awards and, though never quite as prestigious as60 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. 8. As for a possible 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."