Two years ago, CBS picked the ultimate insider to run its broadcast news division: Susan Zirinsky, whose decades-long tenure at the network stretched to the days of Walter Cronkite.
Now the network is turning to a pair of outsiders — one from the world of newspapers and digital publishing — to restore the fortunes of a news division that still trails its rivals at ABC and NBC.
CBS said on Thursday that Ms. Zirinsky would be succeeded by Neeraj Khemlani, a vice president at the publishing powerhouse Hearst and a relatively little-known figure in the TV news industry, and Wendy McMahon, a former ABC executive. The two will serve as presidents and co-heads of a CBS News division that will also include local stations owned by the network.
In the gossipy world of TV news, neither executive had been rumored to be a candidate for the top CBS role. Mr. Khemlani worked at CBS News from 1998 to 2006 as a producer at its “60 Minutes” franchise, but he left television to work at the news arm of the web giant Yahoo before going to Hearst in 2009.
announcing the hires.