Sean McManus discusses Sports and News Television in America as part of Sport in America during the 2008 Chautauqua Institution morning lecture series.
Sean McManus was named president of CBS Sports in 1996 and president of CBS News in 2005. He is only the second person to hold both division titles simultaneously.
As president of CBS Sports, McManus led the organization's efforts in acquiring broadcast rights to the National Football League. He serves as executive producer overseeing all aspects of CBS Sports' coverage of the NFL, including production, on-air talent, advertising, and promotion.
During McManus' more than ten years as president of the division, CBS Sports has become the year-round leader in network sports television. In 1999, he led CBS to an unprecedented landmark agreement with the NCAA which became the most comprehensive sports agreement in history. He also reached new multi-year agreements regarding broadcast rights with the PGA Tour and the PGA Championship. Additionally, he extended CBS' broadcast agreements with the United States Tennis Association, the Big Ten conference, and the Southeastern Conference (SEC) football and basketball agreements through 2008.
Previously, McManus was vice president for program planning and development at NBC Sports (1982-87), becoming the youngest vice president in the history of the network at the age of 27. He was responsible for all programming and was instrumental in the rights negotiations for the Olympics, the NFL, Wimbledon, the Breeders' Cup, the Orange Bowl, auto racing, and NCAA college basketball.
As president of CBS News, McManus has undertaken a restructuring and retooling of the division, both in front of and behind the camera. Most notable on the on-air side was the April 2006 announcement that Katie Couric would join CBS News as the new anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News and a correspondent for 60 Minutes.
McManus has also aggressively worked to build a strong corps of reporters. He has designated and assigned key beats and has added strong veteran correspondents to round out the group, including Jeff Greenfield and Dean Reynolds. He announced that CNN's Anderson Cooper would contribute several stories to 60 Minutes and CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta would contribute to the CBS Evening News.
CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus comments on instances in which sports and news collide. He remembers when his father covered the Munich Massacre of the 1972 Olympics and looks forward to CBS' coverage of the coming Olympic games in Beijing.
President of CBS News and Sports Sean McManus discusses the challenge of choosing sports analysts as personal opinions of sports analysts are always subjective and difficult to separate from individual team loyalties.
President of CBS News and Sports Sean McManus comments on what he calls the "Katie Couric experiment" and how it failed to generate the ratings CBS might have liked. He remembers that "it took Tom Brokaw thirteen years to become number one," so judgment may be "premature."