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Wed Apr 7, 2021, 04:22 PM

CBS shake-up: TV station executives exit following L.A. Times investigation

Weijia Jiang Retweeted

CBS shake-up: senior TV station executives Peter Dunn and David Friend exit following L.A. Times investigation, which uncovered alleged racist and bullying behavior in the TV stations group.



The unusual CBS TV station deal that scored one executive a $1-million golf membership



COMPANY TOWN

The unusual CBS TV station deal that scored one executive a $1-million golf membership

By MEG JAMES
JAN. 24, 2021 5 AM PT

CBS’ purchase nine years ago of a small TV station on New York’s Long Island was unusual: The broadcasting giant hadn’t acquired a TV station in years — in fact, it had been trimming its station portfolio.

WLNY-TV (Channel 55) was hardly a powerhouse. It ran old movies, game shows and a half-hour local newscast produced on a shoestring. But the $55-million deal, announced in December 2011, had a prominent backer: CBS Television Stations President Peter Dunn. He promised to boost the station’s stature by deploying “people and resources to fuel a significant expansion of local news programming.”

Today, Long Island-based newscasts are long gone from the station’s lineup, and so are more than 70 people who once worked there. WLNY now airs a parade of courtroom shows, “Pawn Stars,” old CBS sitcoms and a nightly roundup of news from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.

But for Dunn, the WLNY purchase brought life-changing benefits. ... As part of the deal, the station’s founder, Michael Pascucci, threw in a membership to the exclusive Sebonack Golf Club, which he had built in Southampton, N.Y. The private, 300-acre, bay-front retreat draws an ultra-rich crowd — initiation fees top $1 million, according to Golf Digest.

Dunn treated the Sebonack membership as a personal perk, according to a complaint filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission by the former manager of CBS’ TV station in Philadelphia, as well as two other individuals who were aware of the arrangement but not authorized to comment. The deal allowed Dunn to hobnob with billionaires, boost his own social standing and entertain other high-level CBS executives and corporate clients.

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