Jim McKairnes, former head of CBS's comedy show development team and a top executive at Discovery networks, has been named the Verizon Chair of Global Broadband and Telecommunications at Temple University's communications school, where he graduated in 1982 with a journalism degree.
McKairnes will teach classes, host Verizon's Symposium on Global Broadband and Telecommunications next spring, and "help foster new television industry opportunities for Temple students," the school said in a statement.
As scheduling chief under CBS President Les Moonves, McKairnes claims credit for helping boost the network's sagging ratings in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 2006 he took the same job at Discovery but returned to CBS two years later. He's the author of 103 Ways to Get into TV. The Northeast Philly native (St. Matthew's parish, he gets back from time to time) told me he's looking for places to live in Center City, and looks forward to returning to "where the people are real and the pretzels are soft." (So fake + hard = West Coast style?)