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Rex Sikes Movie Beat chats with producer Jim McKairnes

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Jim McKairnes, producer, is a 23-year veteran of the television industry, 15 at CBS. He is a producer and television consultant, an adjunct college-instructor/guest-lecturer and author. His work as an entertainment-magazine editor and freelance writer out of college took him to Los Angeles in 1989 to pursue a dream of working in the TV-executive ranks as a network programmer. He met producer Norman Lear soon after his arrival which led to McKairnes being hired at CBS Studio by then-CBS-President Jeff Sagansky. At CBS, McKairnes divided his responsibilities between the Current Programming and Scheduling departments. He became fulltime in Scheduling and was part of the team that took the network from worst in the 1990s to first in the 2000s under the leadership of CBS President Leslie Moonves. He contributed to and involved himself in all areas of CBS: He created and produced the on-air prime-time series called “CBS Moments,” he was instrumental in the development of several made-for-TV movies and network specials; and he contributed to various promotional campaigns each season of his tenure. After 13 years and as a Senior Vice-President at CBS, McKairnes was recruited by Discovery Communications in 2006 to head up that Maryland-based company’s 11 networks as its Executive Vice-President of Scheduling, where he was introduced to and then immersed himself in the world of cable TV. Eventually he returned in Los Angeles, where he was invited by Moonves to return to CBS, as well, for a role on the company’s studio side, serving as Senior Vice President in charge of developing new comedies for its cable division from 2008 to 2010. Stay tuned to Rex Sikes Movie Beat for other great archived interviews, cast and crew listings, events, festivals, premieres, and more at rexsikes.com

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