CBS News And Stations forms Crime and Public Safety Unit

Former NBC News vet Anna Schecter Zigler is heading the new CBS News And Stations Crime And Public Safety Unit.

The latest beat addition to the network’s news operation and its station group

Paramount Global’s CBS News And Stations unit is forming a new Crime And Public Safety Unit and tapped an NBC News veteran to lead it.

Heading the new unit is Anna Schecter Zigler, who spent the last thirteen years at NBC News most recently as a senior producer and head of their investigative unit. She also appeared as an on-air contributor for NBC News Now and MSNBC. She will start in her new New York-based position on June 17.

“Crime and public safety are of the highest priority to our viewers and we’re committed to advancing reporting that will bring deeper insights and solutions on these issues across CBS News and Stations,” said Adrienne Roark, president of content development and integration, CBS News and Stations and CBS Media Ventures, in a statement. “Anna is a multi-level player who can report, produce and effectively lead teams to create engaging stories. We’re thrilled to have her on the team.”

“I am honored and excited to be joining the esteemed team of journalists at CBS News,” said Zigler in a statement. “In this new role I look forward to breaking stories that help shape our national conversation. I am eager to collaborate with the CBS Innovation Lab, CBS stations around the country, and CBS News powerhouse programs to shine a light for our viewers on issues that matter the most. CBS News delivers the most insightful coverage out there, and I feel privileged to be joining this extraordinary team.”

Crime And Public Safety is one of the beats CBS has created in recent years following those on health, weather, and fact-checking.

CBS News And Stations was created in a reorganization after the second merger of Viacom and CBS, whose parent company was renamed Paramount Global in 2022 bringing CBS News, syndicator CBS Media Ventures, and the station group under one umbrella. CBS News And Stations owns 28 stations in eighteen markets including seven in the top ten with full-service newsrooms.

Given CBS owns stations in the nation’s largest markets (including CBS 2 here), it makes sense to form a unit devoted to crime and public safety – one of the biggest issues pressing viewers, especially in Chicago. Hopefully, the new unit will dig deep into the root causes of crime, not the “if it bleeds, it leads” mantra – something CBS 2 and others (notably WSVN Miami) were known for in the 1990s with flashy graphics and little substance behind the stories. Recently, CBS’ KPIX dug deep into Oakland’s crime epidemic with reports on why so many businesses are closing in the area near the city’s airport, as vandalism, gun violence, and robberies are practically running unchecked as we may see more reporting like this.

Another potential problem is “copganda” – branded by those who generally have an unfavorable view of police, as telling stories from law enforcement’s point of view.

CBS plans to feature reports from its newly-formed unit on all platforms, including CBS News, the all-news streaming channel CBS News 24/7 (formerly CBSN), and CBS News And Stations’ local newscasts and streaming channels on the station group.


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