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CBS News Chief: ‘We Wanted the Lance Armstrong Interview Badly’

As disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong prepares to sit down with Oprah Winfrey tonight (the interview will air on OWN Thursday), the chairman of CBS News says that the network regrets that Armstrong didn’t sit with them instead.

“We wanted the Lance Armstrong interview badly. He chose to go with Oprah,” said Jeff Fager, who is also the executive producer of the iconic newsmagazine. Fager was speaking on a panel about “60 Minutes Sports” at the Television Critics Association Winter press tour in Pasadena.

Admittedly, CBS and Armstrong do not have the friendliest history. In 2011 Armstrong demanded an apology from the network for airing a story that suggested he was a cheat, which it now seems clear he was. Fager responded to the lawsuit by asserting that the reporting by “60 Minutes” was thorough and accurate.

“CBS This Morning” co-anchor Gayle King, who happens to be Oprah’s best friend, said this morning that the talk-show host has been “pulling all-nighters” in advance of the interview.

“And what I know about this story is that it all came together within the last week,” King said. “And Oprah spent this past week pulling what you did in college, all-nighters getting ready. So whatever Lance has to say, she is certainly prepared.”

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