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CBS Sports' LeslieAnne Wade Going Independent

The top PR executive for CBS Sports, LeslieAnne Wade, is leaving the company to start her own media strategy and public relations firm, the network says. Wade’s first client will be CBS Sports, where she will be “closely involved in the overall media relations effort around CBS Sports businesses, personalities and programming.”

Wade has been with CBS since 1993.

“I take such tremendous pride in my long time association with CBS Sports,” said Wade in a statement.   “With the support of Leslie Moonves, Gil Schwartz and Sean McManus, I was given an opportunity to further a path in new media relations, and for women in sports television. It is an enormous professional compliment to count CBS Sports as the first client in my new venture.”

More information after the jump.

LESLIEANNE WADE SIGNS ADVISORY AGREEMENT WITH CBS

CBS announced today that LeslieAnne Wade, Senior Vice President, Communications, CBS Sports, will transition to a new role with the company beginning November 2010 as she starts an independent media strategy and public relations firm.   In this new role, Wade will advise CBS Corporation on corporate and media relations issues related to the Company’s sports properties. CBS will name a successor to Wade’s position at CBS Sports at a later date.

In her new role, Wade will be closely involved in the overall media relations effort around CBS Sports businesses, personalities and programming. In addition she will continue to serve in an advisory role with CBSSports.com, CBS College Sports Network and Showtime Sports.

“I’ve had the benefit of LeslieAnne’s experience and wisdom for as long as I’ve been at CBS,” said Gil Schwartz, Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, CBS Corporation. “There’s nobody better in a crisis, and her knowledge of the ins and outs of the sports communications game, and the people on the field, is unequaled. I’m pleased that we’ll still be able to tap into that expertise going forward with this new agreement.”

“LeslieAnne was already a key asset to CBS Sports when I got here in 1996,” said Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports. “Since that time our Division has grown immeasurably and she’s been instrumental every step of the way. I know she’ll have terrific success in her new role, and I look forward to all we’ll do together as we continue to grow CBS Sports into the future.”

“I take such tremendous pride in my long time association with CBS Sports,” said Wade.   “With the support of Leslie Moonves, Gil Schwartz and Sean McManus, I was given an opportunity to further a path in new media relations, and for women in sports television. It is an enormous professional compliment to count CBS Sports as the first client in my new venture.”

Wade joined CBS in 1993.   In more than 17 years with CBS Sports, she served as the lead corporate and media relations executive for all business related to the Network’s coverage of the NFL, The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, The Olympic Winter Games (Lillehammer, Nagano), U.S. Open Tennis, the PGA Tour, The PGA Championship, The Masters, and The SEC on CBS; among other sports and specials.

Recognized as the Woman of the Year (2003) by Women in Sports and Events; the Sports Television Executive of the Year by the All American Football Foundation (2004), the first woman to receive the Distinguished American Award from the National Football Foundation’s New Jersey Chapter (2008) and the Woman of the Year by Garden State Women’s Magazine (2008.) Wade began her television career with USA Networks.   Prior to that, she was among the first women to work as a Division I College Sports Information Director at both Fordham University and Manhattan College (NY).   She serves on the Board of Directors of the Boomer Esiason Foundation, a foundation to find a cure for cystic fibrosis.

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