CBS Sports chief McManus to oversee news, too

Updated: October 26, 2005, 11:49 AM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- CBS announced Wednesday it is replacing embattled CBS News President Andrew Heyward with Sean McManus, chief of CBS Sports, who will keep both jobs.

Heyward served more than 10 years as head of the legendary news division, and it was a surprise to many in the industry when he kept his job in the fallout from the network's botched investigation into President Bush's National Guard service.

CBS still hasn't named a replacement for Dan Rather, who stepped down in March as anchor of the third-rated "CBS Evening News," and network chief Leslie Moonves had expressed discontent over ideas presented to him for revamping the broadcast.

Heyward presided over the delicate transition at his best-known broadcast, "60 Minutes," replacing founder Don Hewitt at the helm without any real impact in the show's popularity. He also established the spinoff "60 Minutes II," which was canceled this spring due to poor ratings.

CBS News' reputation took a severe hit with last September's pre-election story critical of Bush's military service after an independent panel found the network rushed the story onto the air without ever proving that documents upon which it was based were real. Three news executives were forced to resign and the piece's producer, Mary Mapes, was fired.

McManus will take over as news chief on Nov. 7, one day after Mapes' book on the episode is due to be published.

McManus, son of famed sportscaster Jim McKay, has been head of CBS Sports since 1996. He helped negotiate the return of NFL football to the network in 1998, and he sealed a deal to keep the NCAA men's basketball tournament on CBS Sports through 2014.

He began his career at ABC Sports, where the late Roone Arledge set a precedent for a network sports president to also take over a news division.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press