Remembering The 1st News/Sports Prez

By Brian 

“McManus’s new appointment draws comparisons with Roone Arledge, who simultaneously led ABC Sports and ABC News through both divisions’ most heady years,” TV Week says, noting that “the late Mr. Arledge was the boss of Mr. McManus’ father, Jim McKay.”

An e-mailer weighs in: “David Westin had no news ‘experience’ when he was named president of ABC News, yet he has thrived in the position by earning the respect and trust of the troops. Recall that both Arledge and Westin were initially hammered by the press and the news folks when they were named. Each proved himself more than worthy. The job demands a passion for news, the ability to juggle many competing interests, an agile mind and a competitive fire. Arledge, Westin and McManus by all accounts, each possess those essential qualities.”

> From the New York Times, December 2002: “The reaction to Mr. Arledge’s appointment ranged from skepticism to outright scorn. Time magazine suggested that the movie ‘Network,’ about a television company without conscience, might be coming true.”

> The NYT quoted former Monday Night Football producer Don Ohlmeyer: “People forget how massacred Roone initially was when he first went to ABC News. He met almost universal resistance because they believed he was going to interfere with their protection of the holy grail.”