Susan Zirinsky

Senior Executive Producer, "48 Hours"

Susan Zirinsky
Susan Zirinsky
 Susan Zirinsky, an award-winning journalist and producer, is the senior executive producer of "48 Hours".

In addition to leading the team behind the critically acclaimed "48 Hours", Zirinsky was the senior executive producer of the 2013 documentary series, "Brooklyn DA", which followed the men and women of the Kings County District Attorney's Office, and serves as the senior executive producer for breaking news specials for CBS News and specials for CBS Entertainment.

Since joining CBS News as a part-time production clerk in 1972, Zirinsky has worked for a variety of CBS News broadcasts and covered national and global news, several presidents, wars, international conflicts, the Olympics and the world of fashion.

Most recently she produced breaking news specials on the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and the Boston Marathon bombings. Zirinsky was the co-executive producer of two "Person to Person" interview specials for CBS, the latest in November 2012. In March 2013, she produced "The Grammys Will Go On: A Death in the Family", a documentary about the Grammys and the night Whitney Houston died, and "Vanity Fair's Hollywood", celebrating the 20th anniversary of the magazine's exclusive Oscar party.

Previously, she was an executive producer of CBS News' award-winning broadcast "9/11" - a documentary on the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that included the only footage of the first plane going into the north tower of the World Trade Center and of activity inside the Trade Center before the towers fell. The documentary won an Emmy, a George Foster Peabody award, the Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence, a Christopher Award and a Writers Guild of America award. The documentary was first broadcast in 2002, was updated for the fifth anniversary of the attacks was updated again to mark the 10th anniversary in 2011.

She produced CBS's 2011 prime time special "The Royal Wedding: Modern Majesty". Zirinsky also produced the critically acclaimed documentary series in January for ID Discovery, "The Injustice Files," working with the FBI on cold cases from the civil rights era.

Zirinsky was the executive producer of a behind-the-scenes look at Fashion's Night Out. She produced "That's The Way It Was - Remembering Walter Cronkite" and "Ted Kennedy: The Last Brother". She was also the executive producer of "Change And Challenge: The Inauguration of Barack Obama" and "Katie Couric's 'All Access' Grammy Special".

Zirinsky was the executive producer of a documentary with Oscar-nominated filmmakers Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing, "The Lord's Boot Camp", in 2008. Also in 2008, she expanded the "48 Hours" brand with the launch of "Crimesider", a crime blog for Zirinsky was one of the executive producers of a documentary for CBS Entertainment with Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Jules and Gedeon Naudet, "In God's Name", in 2007.

Zirinsky was executive producer of the critically acclaimed documentary "Flashpoint" in May 2007, which told the story of one bomb, three journalists and the Army's 4th Infantry Division. In May 2006, Zirinsky was executive producer of the critically acclaimed Emmy nominated documentary, "Three Days in September" for Showtime, which told the story of a school taken hostage in Beslan, Russia. The film, narrated by Julia Roberts, was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival. Also in 2006, Zirinsky was executive producer of a new web series for CBS Entertainment called "Countdown", an online companion to the CBS series "Jericho".

She was executive producer for a documentary for CBS Entertainment, "Elvis by the Presleys", in 2005, as well as executive producer of two specials for Tyra Banks' "America's Next Top Model."

Before joining "48 Hours" in 1996, she was executive producer of Campaign '96 (1995-96), managing the daily operations of CBS News' election-year political coverage, and of the primetime CBS News magazine, "Eye to Eye" (1994-95), after having served as the broadcast's senior broadcast producer and senior producer (1993-94).

Zirinsky was the director of CBS News' 1992 political reporting, responsible for coordinating coverage of candidates, issues and events for all CBS News broadcasts, including the presidential election. During that period, she was CBS News' senior producer at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France, where she oversaw the CBS News and Sports news desk for the network.

Earlier, Zirinsky served in several capacities for the "CBS Evening News with Dan Rather" in New York and Washington, D.C. In New York, she was its senior broadcast producer (1991-92) and senior producer (1989-91). In Washington, she managed all feature stories and oversaw editorial content of daily hard-news events (1986-89). She first joined the "CBS Evening News" as a producer in 1979.

She also worked on other CBS News broadcasts, including the "CBS Morning News" and "CBS Evening News" weekend editions. Zirinsky worked the Democratic and Republican National Conventions from 1976 through 1988 as a floor producer for Dan Rather, Lesley Stahl, Ed Bradley and Mike Wallace. In 1992 she was senior producer for all coverage at both conventions.

Zirinsky's international news experience is extensive. She traveled overseas with presidents Carter and Reagan. Her assignments have taken her to Russia, China, Japan, Europe, Central and South America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. In 1989, Zirinsky ran CBS News' operations out of Panama during the United States invasion of that country and was in charge of CBS News' operation in Beijing during the Tiananmen Square student uprising and military crackdown. Earlier that year, she was lead producer for CBS News' coverage from Japan of Emperor Hirohito's funeral. She was the senior producer responsible for setting up and overseeing the Network's news operation in Kuwait while covering the first Persian Gulf War, and it was under her stewardship that CBS News was the first network to enter Kuwait, just behind the Allied forces.

Zirinsky was technical advisor/associate producer for writer/director James L. Brooks on the film "Broadcast News," starring Holly Hunter as a Washington network news producer.

In 2013, she was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by the New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards.

Zirinsky was graduated cum laude from American University in Washington, D.C.

More From 48 Hours