New CBS News Prez: The Game Plan

By Brian 

Sean McManus explains his plan to USA Today:

  For his part, McManus, who remains sports chief though he expects to spend most of his time in news, says his goals there are the same as they were when he joined CBS Sports in 1996. “There was a great tradition, a great lineup of events, but there had been some pretty tough times and the public perception wasn’t accurate with respect to the work we were doing,” he says.

“So the first thing I tried to do was change the perception, invigorate people with some feeling of excitement and a real feeling of pride, let people know that mistakes happen, but that if mistakes happen, there’s going to be accountability and that not putting on the best product was unacceptable.

“The product at CBS News, by and large, is excellent,” McManus says. “I don’t think it’s broken, but it needs a little bit more direction, and the Evening News needs to be made more relevant.”

He says he wants the “best on-air, production and management talent to want to work at CBS News. I want there to be a feeling of excitement and enthusiasm that is infectious to people who work at CBS News and elsewhere.”

Will he make a big push for Katie Couric, the Today star who has said Moonves has been courting her? McManus won’t say. “All I can say is I have some definite ideas, and I have targeted a large group of people who I’d like to at least explore their availability.”