Martin D. Franks serves as Executive Vice President, Planning, Policy and Government Relations for CBS Corporation. In this role, he manages a wide variety of activities for the company, including oversight of the Corporation's activities in Washington as well as with state and local governments, and CBS's corporate philanthropy. He also handles CBS's relations with multi-channel video providers and retransmission consent negotiations, the company's transition to digital television and CBS's Standards and Practices Department.
Franks joined CBS in 1988 as Vice President, Washington, responsible for the activities of CBS before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and other government bodies. He was made Senior Vice President, Washington in 1994. In 1997, he was named Senior Vice President, CBS Corporation, in charge of its corporate relations functions, including government, investor relations and corporate communications, and served as liaison to the Company's board of directors. He became Executive Vice President of CBS Television and Senior Vice President of Viacom in 2000.
From 1981 through 1987, Franks served as Executive Director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee under the chairmanship of former Congressman Tony Coelho and the late Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill. Franks' first seven years in Washington, D.C., were spent on the Senate side of the Capitol and culminated in his service as Chief of Staff to Senator Patrick Leahy from 1977 to 1979. In 1980, he was National Research and Issues Director for the Carter-Mondale Presidential Committee.
Franks serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of the September 11th Fund, as well as the boards of the Advertising Council and Maximum Service Television (MSTV). He is also a McLaughlin Leadership Scholar at the Aspen Institute.
He was born and raised in Long Beach, Ind., and was graduated from Princeton University in 1972 (bachelor of arts, politics). Franks commutes to New York from his home in Washington, D.C., where he lives with his wife, Mari Schleuning, and their two sons.