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ESPN and the Golf Channel sat down for five-minute interviews with golfer Tiger Woods Sunday, but CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus reportedly declined an offer Woods’ camp made to CBS.
A CBS Sports spokesperson told the AP “Depending on the specifics, we are interested in an extended interview without any restrictions on CBS.” This afternoon, the NYTimes’ Bill Carter did some more digging and found out:
Though they declined to speak on the record, CBS executives described their reluctance Monday less as a journalistic stand against an interview subject trying to control questioning than as a practical decision about what benefit the network could get from the interview.
Considering the interview was taking place on a Sunday and “60 Minutes” doesn’t generally use such brief interviews, the piece would have needed to wait to hit the airwaves until Monday’s “Early Show,” which was a consideration.
Carter also reports, “The executives explained that given the restrictions on the interview — five minutes total with Mr. Woods, who was declaring several areas of questioning too personal to answer directly — CBS was not likely to be able to get much more information” than ESPN and Golf Channel, which did conduct interviews with woods. ESPN SVP Vince Doria told the AP, “The things we were most concerned with was that there were no restrictions on questions, and there were not.”
On “World News,” last night Diane Sawyer interviewed ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi about his interview with Woods, though no footage of the actual interview was shown, only text excerpts — odd considering ABC and ESPN are both owned by Disney have a sports partnership. Update: It turns out that footage from the interview was embargoed Sunday by Woods’ camp until 7:30pmET. The idea was to ensure that the news did not interfere with the conclusion of the Transitions championship, though it didn’t quite work out that way.
> More: PRNewser reports that former WH Press Secretary Ari Fleischer is no longer working for Woods.