CBS Chief George Cheeks Outlines Move To Sunset & Gower Building Following Studio Center Sale

TV

Following this morning’s announcement that ViacomCBS has reached an agreement to sell the CBS Studio Center (Radford) and associated businesses to the partnership of Hackman Capital Partners and Square Mile Capital Management for $1.85 billion, CBS President and CEO George Cheeks laid out the plans for moving employees out of the complex after the transaction.

“First, as part of the sale, ViacomCBS will be leasing back our existing office space at CBS Studio Center through at least June 2022,” Cheeks said in an internal memo (You can read it in full below.) “This means the vast majority of those based at Radford will return to your existing office when we return to a mostly hybrid work model, starting Jan. 10, or the designated date determined by your divisions.”

The time will be used to “plan for and complete our eventual move to the ViacomCBS office building near the corner of Sunset and Gower in Hollywood,” Cheeks said. “This is a relatively new (2016), six-story building that will be the eventual home to CBS Entertainment, CBS Studios, CBS Media Ventures (CMV) and other ViacomCBS teams currently based there.”

He went on to give a timetable for the move by division.

“Many CMV employees will be the first CBS division to move into the Sunset and Gower building, beginning in January,” he said.”We anticipate the move for Entertainment, Studios and their key support teams, such as Communications, Finance, Law, Labor, Research and others, to begin late spring or early summer 2022. Our Marketing colleagues will eventually join us there, too, as we continue to work out plans for their transition from Television City.”

As revealed in today, CBS’ local television operation, KCBS and KCAL, will continue to be based at Radford, as will productions such as Entertainment Tonight, The Talk, Big Brother and other series that currently film on the lot.

“Also, many of our valued Studio Center Operations, Facilities and Security colleagues, who do such great work running the property, will become employees of Hackman Capital when the sale closes later this year,” Cheeks said. “Please join me in thanking them for their devoted service to CBS.”

Here is his memo.

CBS Colleagues,

During the summer, I shared with you that ViacomCBS was exploring the sale of our CBS Studio Center campus (a.k.a. Radford). This is part of a strategic plan to consolidate the company’s real estate footprint, bring teams together in centralized locations, and direct proceeds from these sales towards more best-in-class content.

Today, it was announced that ViacomCBS has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Radford to Hackman Capital Partners, the same firm that purchased our Television City property in 2019. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close before the end of the year.

“I know a transaction like this, combined with our planned return to office in January, can raise lots of questions. While we are still working out many details, here is what this means directionally for our CBS Southern California-based businesses, in 2022 and beyond.

“First, as part of the sale, ViacomCBS will be leasing back our existing office space at CBS Studio Center through at least June 2022. This means the vast majority of those based at Radford will return to your existing office when we return to a mostly hybrid work model, starting Jan. 10, or the designated date determined by your divisions.

“This will give us time to plan for and complete our eventual move to the ViacomCBS office building near the corner of Sunset and Gower in Hollywood. This is a relatively new (2016), six-story building that will be the eventual home to CBS Entertainment, CBS Studios, CBS Media Ventures (CMV) and other ViacomCBS teams currently based there.

“Many CMV employees will be the first CBS division to move into the Sunset and Gower building, beginning in January. We anticipate the move for Entertainment, Studios and their key support teams, such as Communications, Finance, Law, Labor, Research and others, to begin late spring or early summer 2022. Our Marketing colleagues will eventually join us there, too, as we continue to work out plans for their transition from Television City.

“At the same time, not all of us will be leaving Radford. Our local television operation, KCBS and KCAL, will continue to be based there, as will productions such as Entertainment Tonight, The Talk, Big Brother and other series that currently film on the lot.

“Also, many of our valued Studio Center Operations, Facilities and Security colleagues, who do such great work running the property, will become employees of Hackman Capital when the sale closes later this year. Please join me in thanking them for their devoted service to CBS.

“For those who are moving, I know this will be a big change – both professionally and personally, in matters like your commuting time. Understanding that, we wanted to give you as much advance notice as possible. We’ll continue to keep you updated on further details as soon as they are finalized.

“I have to tell you that I’m really excited for most of our LA-based team to be in one combined space. This will provide opportunities for collaboration and cohesiveness across our teams that will only add to the energy and creative possibilities we will get from being back in person.

“As always, thank you for your outstanding work and your dedication to CBS.

George

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