CBS News Promotes Two PR Executives

Sonya McNair is upped to senior vice president, communications, CBS News, while Kelli Raftery is named vice president, communications.

CBS today named two executives to serve in the top communications posts at CBS News.  Sonya McNair has been promoted to senior vice president, communications, CBS News, and Kelli Raftery has been named vice president, communications.

As SVP of CBS News communications, McNair will continue to oversee all media and talent relations, as well as public affairs for CBS News, including strategic planning, day-to-day publicity, and internal and external communications.  She will also provide oversight of communications for CBS Radio News, and the CBS News Polling & Survey Unit.

At the same time, Raftery, who has previously held significant CBS communications positions in news, sports and entertainment, will rejoin CBS News, working on communications objectives throughout the division.  She will report to McNair. In addition, Raftery will support CBS Communications as a whole on special projects and strategic initiatives.

After joining CBS News as a consultant in March 2009, McNair was appointed VP in May of that year.  She directed media relations and publicity for the CBS News Division and oversaw the daily communications strategy for a wide range of CBS News broadcasts and platforms. Previously, McNair was spokesperson and director of public relations for The New Yorker. Prior to that, McNair was VP of corporate communications for Time Inc.’s Essence Communications Inc.

Formerly, McNair was VP of publicity and corporate communications for the Fox Broadcasting Co., and oversaw East Coast media relations for the network.  She also handled communications for corporate affairs and business-related matters.  Prior to that, she spent 16 years at ABC News and held several increasingly responsible positions at the network, which included spokesperson for the network’s news division and director of media relations.

Raftery joined CBS Corp. in March 2010 as a freelancer providing publicity coverage for CBS corporate and CBS News’ communications departments.  Most recently, she was director, communications, CBS Entertainment.  Prior to that, Raftery was director, communications at Sports Illustrated Group. Previously, she held various communications and publicity positions within CBS Corp., including director, CBS Entertainment communications; manager, NCAA Properties; senior broadcast communications representative; and press coordinator for CBS Sports’ coverage of the 1998 Winter Olympics.


Raftery began her career in production at CBS Sports as a sports researcher and then broadcast associate, responsible for on-air graphics at events.

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