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Posts Tagged ‘Sean McManus’

CBS Sports Ups David Berson to President

CBS has made a big promotion, upping CBS Sports Network chief David Berson to president of CBS Sports.

Berson will continue to report to CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus, and will add day-to-day responsibility of the division to his plate. He will continue to run CBS Sports Network. His promotion positions him as a strong number two to McManus, and echoes the management structure of CBS News, which has Jeff Fager as chairman and David Rhodes as president.

Berson joined CBS in 2011 to take over what was then CBS College Sports Network. It rebranded to CBS Sports Network shortly thereafter. He was a 16-year veteran of ESPN before joining CBS.

“David’s contributions and expertise in all areas of our business, including programming, production and business affairs, have managed to exceed our high expectations since he joined CBS Sports,” said McManus in a statement. “This is a natural evolution for David to assume additional responsibilities at CBS Sports, working alongside me on the day-to-day management of both CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network.”

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CBS Sports Chief: Super Bowl Blackout ‘a surreal situation’

The chairman of CBS Sports, Sean McManus, talks to the LA TimesJoe Flint about the Super Bowl blackout.

McManus says that, were they to do everything over again, he would have pushed to have someone from the NFL appear on camera, even if they didn’t have any answers.

CBS was criticized for how it handled the blackout, specifically for not having any reaction from the NFL, the teams or fans, or for providing information on what caused the blackout.

“It was a surreal situation,” McManus said in an interview Monday. Since he was in a production truck, McManus initially wasn’t sure whether only CBS had lost power or if something bigger had happened. “We lost all communication to announcers and had to call (play-by-play announcer) Jim Nantz on his cellphone.”

“If this had been in the CBS compound that would have been a bigger problem,” he said in an understatement.

Who’s In Line to Take Over at NBC News?

In his farewell note to staff, departing NBC News president Steve Capus writes, “I have much I hope to accomplish in the next phase of my career.” So, too, do the men and women vying to replace Capus. Capus says NBCU News group Chairman Pat Fili-Krushel “will be meeting with people throughout the division, and articulating her vision for the NBCUniversal News Group.”

There are strong internal candidates, some of whom, it has been announced by Fili-Krushel, will take on additional duties. Alex Wallace (above, right), who oversees “Today,” and “Rock Center” will now oversee “Nightly News,” where she was once EP. Wallace, who’s been with NBC since 2005, would be the first female news president after nine men have held the job since 1968.

Phil Griffin will likely be considered for the job. As president of MSNBC for the last 4 and a half years he has given the network an identity and boosted ratings, consistently topping CNN — a network his close friend Jeff Zucker now runs. A front office and internal concern would be the progressive programming on the network, often not in line with NBC News standards. Mark Hoffman, president of CNBC, cannot be ruled out. Nor can Capus’ deputy, Antoine Sanfuentes, (above, left) who will run day-to-day in the interim.

External candidates are also plentiful…

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Titans, Moguls and a Presidential Candidate Pay Respects to Mike Wallace

If the news business was like football, Mike Wallace would be its MVP. But if news was a beauty contest, Wallace would never have been Mr. Congeniality.

That’s what hundreds of Mike Wallace’s friends, colleagues and family — four generations of them — learned as they gathered at the Rose Hall at Time Warner Center to remember the “60 Minutes” original who died April 8 at age 93.

Morley Safer and Steve Kroft remembered Wallace’s unrelenting competitive streak. When Kroft had set up an interview with Gov. Bill Clinton in 1988, amidst accusations of an extra-marital affair, Kroft says, “Mike offered me encouragement, while trying to take the story away from me.”

Safer admitted months would go by without the two reporters even speaking to each other. In a taped piece, the late Ed Bradley echoed the sentiment, after Wallace stole a Manuel Noriega interview from him. “You and I didn’t talk for  six months,” Bradley says to Wallace who is unmoved.

“He brought the same zeal to a story as he did to a penny ante poker game,” said Safer.

Wallace even stole a story from his own son, Chris Wallace who, at the time, was working for ABC’s “Primetime.” In the Fall of 1997, young Wallace had set up an interview with comedian Chris Rock. Rock canceled not long before the shoot. Wallace later found out why.

“My old man had stolen the interview!” said Wallace. “And he knew he’d stolen it from me!” Bradley ended up conducting the Rock interview, mostly to make amends for the Noriega theft, but also to keep in good stead with his son.

“He was so exasperating and yet so endearing,” said Wallace choking back tears.

“It took many years for us to find our path to each other,” the Fox News anchor admitted. “He had a good heart. He could be naughty. But he was never mean.”

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James Brown On His CBS News Role: ‘I would like to think there will be no limits’

CBS Sports anchor James Brown is no stranger to television news. He has filled in on “The Early Show,” and his 2009 interview with Michael Vick for “60 Minutes” drew accolades. Now, CBS has formalized the partnership, signing Brown as a special correspondent. He starts tomorrow, filling in as an anchor on “CBS This Morning”‘s Saturday edition.

“I mean this from the bottom of my heart, I am excited and humbled that a division as synonymous with news excellence would welcome me into the fold as a special correspondent,” Brown told TVNewser.

While he is best known for his sports reporting, be it on “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” or “60 Minutes,” Brown says that he does not want to restrict himself to any particular type of news.

“I would like to think there will be no limits, having done something akin to news for a number of years leading up to this. I hosted a program called ‘America’s Black Forum’ which was like an African-American version of ‘Meet the Press’ in syndication for a number of years,” Brown says. “I thoroughly enjoyed my role as a correspondent for ‘Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,’ which is one of the best shows on television be it sports or general news, so that certainly gave me a comfort level because we would do long-form pieces on a range of topics that just happened to have sports as the backdrop.”

In past interviews Brown has expressed an interest in anchoring the “CBS Evening News.” When asked whether he would still like to pinch-hit on that program, Brown said yes, but that it isn’t a priority.

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A Few More Minutes with Andy Rooney

Friends and colleagues from across the TV spectrum joined Andy Rooney‘s four children this morning at Rose Hall, bidding farewell to the CBS News essayist, who died November 4 following complications from minor surgery.

Rooney’s son Brian Rooney, a longtime correspondent at ABC News, hosted the memorial service which included remarks from Andy Rooney’s three daughters, Ellen Rooney, Emily Rooney and Martha Fishel and Rooney’s girlfriend of 7 years, former “Today” show “girl” Beryl Pfizer, who had known Rooney since 1950. Rooney’s grandchildren were there, including Justin Fishel Pentagon producer for Fox News Channel.

Brian Rooney talked about how, over the past several weeks he’s gone through his father’s belongings and found everything from a $6,000 uncashed check from CBS, to a diary entry dated March 8, 1941: “Went to Gallagher’s. Don’t get chicken at a steakhouse.”

“What you saw, was the same show that we had at dinnertime,” said Rooney.

CBS News chairman and “60 Minutes” EP Jeff Fager as well as Rooney’s “60″ family: Morley Safer, Steve Kroft and Scott Pelley all spoke at the service.

Safer talked of Rooney’s “rich, eccentric legacy.” A man who filled American homes “like a piece of the Sunday furniture, like a portrait on the wall, like the TV itself.”

Safer then introduced a video which included outtakes of his interview with Rooney conducted last Spring. Showing a picture of the early correspondents: Harry Reasoner, Mike Wallace and Diane Sawyer, Rooney stopped at Sawyer — who was not able to attend. “She’s the prettiest girl I

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Chris Wragge on His Return to WCBS: ‘I’m actually very flattered’

Chris Wragge is training for the triathlon in Montauk, NY in October. But his training schedule is about to get a shakeup. Beginning Sept. 6, Wragge will anchor the 6pm news on WCBS while also continuing to co-anchor the network’s “The Early Show.”

“The added workload is going to be great,” jokes Wragge, whose contract with the Eye runs through 2014. We talked with Wragge, who joined CBS as sports director/anchor at WCBS in 2004, just after the announcement was made; about the move and about the rocky road “The Early Show” has been on of late.

TVNewser: How do you feel about this?

Wragge: Oh my God. Amazing. The added workload is going to be great. (laughs) Look I wouldn’t have agreed to it if I didn’t want to do it. These guys (at “The Early Show”) are my family now, but I also had a great family in local, with (WCBS execs) Peter Dunn and David Friend. The opportunity presented itself. I’m doing the 6 so it’s a little bit easier than before when I was doing the 5 and staying to do the 11.

TVNewser: How did it come about and when?

Wragge: Within the last couple of weeks. We opened the door. It was presented as a matter of the network guys allowing me to do it and allowing me to fit it in. If I do well over there it will help the “Evening News.” (WCBS at 6pm is the lead-in for the Scott Pelley national broadcast) It’s not like I’m going to another network. They left the ball in my court and said, ‘If you can do it, okay.’

TVNewser: You’ll be taking one day a week off “The Early Show” How will that work? Could it extend to more?

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Jim Axelrod on the new, old CBS News: ‘There is a collective spring in the step of everyone here’

Failure was the best thing that ever happened to CBS’s Jim Axelrod.

“If you buy the premise that you learn more from failure than success, you’ve learned the most important lesson,” says Axelrod, a New York-based national correspondent and former history teacher.

Axelrod speaks from experience. A few years ago, his career – and his life — were flaming out. He learned, but it came at a steep price.

As Axelrod recounts in his new memoir, ‘In the Long Run’ (Farrar Straus Giroux), he was 30 pounds overweight, drinking too much, constantly on the road. His marriage was shaky. At work, his rabbi (Dan Rather) was gone, and then-news chief Sean McManus had as much as told him he didn’t have the stuff to be a star.

He was, in his own words, “a miserable guy in his mid-40s.” There was a gaping disconnect between what he had intended to do with his life and what he was doing.

Classic mid-life crisis? Axelrod prefers “a mid-course correction.” Instead of obsessing over his career, he focused on his family, his body and his work, crafting stories for ‘Evening News’ and ‘Sunday Morning.’ (His ‘Sunday’ piece on rock band Journey will run later this month.)

“It wasn’t like a ‘kumbaya moment,’” Axelrod, 48, says with a chuckle. “I’m a very ambitious person in my professional life, but I realized you won’t find long-term happiness by being a validation junkie. You can’t live your life measured by what number you are in the Tyndall Report at the end of the year.”

Much of his epiphany was physical. After discovering his late father’s finish times in the New York Marathon from decades earlier, Axelrod decided to begin training for the race – his first marathon,

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Newsers Turn out to Remember Jeff Gralnick

The heads of the big three news networks convened at the penthouse of the Le Parker Meridien hotel this morning for a memorial service for Jeff Gralnick who worked at ABC News, CBS News, and NBC News during his TV news career.

NBC President Steve Capus spoke at the event as did Av Westin, the longtime ABC News and CBS News producer and executive. NBC News anchor Brian Williams “brought the house down” says one insider who was there. “He had people rolling on the floor with one vivid description of a certain part of the anatomy of Gralnick’s doberman pincer.”

Williams also recounted some of the emails he gotten over the years from Gralnick, including “Get the stick out of your ass” and “what are you doing wearing that jacket with those shoulder pads?”

When he got up to speak, NBC’s Tom Brokaw joked that he never got those kinds of emails. Gralnick was EP of “NBC Nightly News” during Brokaw’s years bringing the newscast from third to first place.

Former ABC News correspondent Lynn Sherr also spoke at the tribute. CBS News chairman Jeff Fager, ABC News president Ben Sherwood “Today” show co-anchor Ann Curry, “This Week” EP Rick Kaplan, and CBS Sports president Sean McManus, and about 200 others attended.

Gralnick died May 10.

Former Tampa Tribune Columnist Tom McEwen Dies

Former Tampa Tribune sports editor and columnist Tom McEwen died Sunday morning at his home in Davis Island, Fla. He was 88.

McEwen had battled cancer and poor blood circulation that led to one of his legs being amputated a year ago, according to his son, Rick McEwen.

“He’s not suffering anymore,” said his wife of 41 years, Linda. “He has been through a lot. We were pals. We had so many adventures together. We’re all going to miss him so much.” Read more

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