Major League Baseball has lured Tony Petitti away from his post as CBS executive vp and executive producer of CBS Sports, today (April 24) naming him president and CEO of the soon to launch MLB Network.
Petitti's departure will leave a major hole at CBS Sports. In addition to his duties at CBS Sports, Petitti was also in charge of day-to-day operations of CBS College Sports Network (previously College Sports Television). At CBS, Petitti was responsible for the staffing of all production and on-air talent personnel. He also oversaw all editorial content for all sports programming, including the NFL, NCAA Men's Basketball Championship, PGA Tour, college football and the U.S. Open Tennis Championships.
A five-time Emmy Award winner, Petitti is responsible for instituting many technological innovations such as StatTrax and GameTrax for the network's coverage of the NFL, and SwingVision, the super-slow motion breakdown of golf swings.
Among the on-air talent he brought into the network are James Brown, Gary Danielson, Bill Cowher, Nick Faldo and Ian Baker-Finch.
Petitti was clearly blocked from advancing at CBS Sports, where Sean McManus, close in age, is CBS Sports president.
Petitti returned to CBS Sports after having served as vp and general manager, WCBS-TV New York since August 1999. Before that, he was senior vp, business affairs and programming, CBS Sports.
Earlier, he had been vp, programming, ABC Sports (1994-96), overseeing the acquisition and scheduling of ABC Sports programming. Petitti joined ABC Sports in 1988 as general attorney and was later named director of programming. Prior to that he spent two years at the law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft.