Long-time CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus is retiring.
McManus, who has held his current post since 2011, will step down in April 2024, following CBS’ coverage of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. David Berson, president of CBS Sports for the past 10 years, will move into the top role as president and CEO of the division.
“Sean is a first-ballot, hall of fame executive who has masterfully managed all aspects of CBS Sports for 27 years and helped guide us through a transformative era in sports television,” CBS president and CEO George Cheeks said in a statement. “His achievements here and the culture of excellence he established for CBS Sports — on screen and off — will benefit CBS and Paramount Global long into the future.”
McManus, who also headed CBS News from 2005-10, joined CBS Sports as its president in 1996. He was a key player in bringing the NFL back to CBS in 1998 after it lost rights to the league’s games to Fox earlier in the ’90s, and in the years since has helped nail down partnerships with NCAA, golf’s PGA Tour, PGA of America and The Masters, and with the SEC and Big Ten for college football.
“Leading CBS Sports has been an honor, and I have been so fortunate to work with the most talented team in sports media, along with our incredible partners, for nearly three decades. It has been a fantastic run and the thrill of a lifetime,” said McManus. “I am pleased to leave CBS Sports in an even stronger place than when I arrived, knowing that all of our marquee properties are locked up through this decade and beyond. The future at CBS Sports is in the extremely capable hands of David Berson, who will seamlessly succeed me, as we planned. He is an outstanding leader and strategist, with knowledge and experience across all facets of the business, and has established excellent relationships with our partners and across our team.”
Berson joined CBS in 2011 after 16 years at ESPN and became president of CBS Sports in 2013. He has oversight of the division’s broadcast, cable and streaming assets and has taken the lead in a number of rights acquisitions and talent hires.
“It has been the privilege of my career to have a front-row seat and work alongside Sean for the past 13 years,” said Berson. “He is the ultimate leader, mentor and friend. I look forward to carrying on the high standards he established, which help define CBS Sports. It is a genuine honor to lead our incomparable CBS Sports team and continue working closely with our world-class partners.”
Said Cheeks of Berson, “David is a brilliant, innovative and passionate leader with deep knowledge and relationships in all areas of our business. He is highly respected across the industry by his peers, our partners and within CBS Sports and Paramount Global. Sean and David’s excellent partnership the past decade has positioned CBS Sports for this smooth transition. David is the ideal executive to lead the next chapter of this proud and storied division.”
McManus is the second network sports boss to announce his departure in 2024. NBC Sports chairman Pete Bevacqua is stepping down from his post to become athletic director at his alma mater, Notre Dame, next year; last week, Rick Cordella was named president of NBC Sports.
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