SBD/February 9, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Sean McManus Leaves News Division To Focus Exclusively On Sports For CBS

McManus dropping news department duties to focus on CBS' sports properties
CBS yesterday announced that SEAN MCMANUS has been named CBS Sports Chair. McManus, who has served as CBS News and Sports President since '05, will step down from his role at CBS News. In his new position, McManus will focus on the portfolio of sports properties across CBS Sports operations. He will continue to serve as an executive producer overseeing all aspects of CBS Sports' NFL coverage, as well as Showtime's "Inside The NFL" (CBS Corp.). CBS Corp. President & CEO LES MOONVES in a statement said that the move is "being made to free McManus to have a stronger presence in managing the company's sports properties, including the most well-rounded of the broadcast sports divisions," as well as CBS College Sports Network (FANHOUSE.com, 2/8). In L.A., Joe Flint wrote the move is "indicative of the growing role sports plays at CBS and the need of the network to have a more hands-on focus in its news division." McManus "has oversight over the cable channel College Sports Network and now Showtime, CBS' pay TV channel, is dipping its toe further into sports" (LATIMES.com, 2/8). In N.Y., Carter & Stelter wrote the changes "amount to a major shakeup" at CBS Corp. McManus "has been keen to move back full time to the sports division for some time" (NYTIMES.com, 2/8).

ALL SPORTS, ALL THE TIME: McManus yesterday said that "sports has become worthy of his undivided attention." McManus: "I will definitely be more hands-on. There are a lot of challenges that I haven't been able to focus on full-time that I (now) will." DAILY VARIETY's Jon Weisman noted "chief among those are building the programming, subscriber base and revenue of the CBS College Sports cable network and preparing for upcoming rights negotiations with the PGA Tour this year and with the NFL in two years." McManus also "plans to be more directly involved in sports production, most immediately working with Turner Sports to inaugurate the companies' new combined coverage of the NCAA men's basketball tourney." McManus: "The complexity of serving four networks is vastly greater than what CBS did in the past. There's myriad details that need to be worked out, and you're trying to blend two disparate operations. ... Integrating those together has been complex, but I must say it has been almost seamless up to this point" (VARIETY.com, 2/8). McManus said that "among his priorities will be expanding rights opportunities for CBS College Sports." He indicated that bidding for U.S. rights to the '14 and '16 Olympics is "not a priority of ours right now." McManus: "We're happy with the portfolio that we have. We're not looking to expand what we have on the (CBS) network. I would not characterize (the Olympics) as a priority for CBS Sports" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 2/9).

JOB WELL DONE: CBS Affiliates Board Chair WAYNE DAUGHERTY "cited McManus for his work atop CBS News, and in particular his stable influence on the division over the years -- especially in the wake of former star anchor DAN RATHER's ignominious departure from CBS" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 2/8). Incoming CBS News Chair JEFF FAGER: "Sean's done an amazing job. ... He was here for five years, which I think is probably the extent of how long you should ever be president of a news division. They're very demanding jobs" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 2/8).
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