Sean McManus was named Chairman, CBS Sports, in February 2011 overseeing all sports properties across all CBS Sports operations. He also serves as Executive Producer of THE NFL ON CBS.
McManus served concurrently as President, CBS News and Sports for more than five years prior to being named Chairman. He was named President, CBS Sports, in November 1996 and President, CBS News, in October 2005 and is only the second person to hold both Division titles simultaneously; Roone Arledge held both at ABC from 1977-86.
As president of CBS Sports, McManus led the CBS Corporation’s efforts in acquiring broadcast rights to the National Football League in January 1998, and in November 2004 re-negotiated the contract to retain the rights for CBS until 2011. In May 2009, McManus re-negotiated the NFL contract to retain the rights for CBS through the 2013-14 season and included CBS broadcasting Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans in 2013. And in December 2011, McManus re-negotiated a nine-year deal to retain the NFL broadcast rights through the 2022 season. In February 2014, McManus negotiated the rights for the NFL’s new Thursday Night Football package for the 2014 season. In January 2015, he again successfully negotiated a deal to continue the partnership for 2015, and again in February 2016 they renewed the partnership for 2016 and 2017. In February 2019, McManus oversaw the unprecedented, year-long Corporation-wide coverage of Super Bowl LIII from Atlanta. And in February 2016, he also oversaw Corporation-wide coverage of Super Bowl 50, featuring shows from nine CBS divisions with week-long, around-the-clock coverage from San Francisco and the Bay Area across multiple platforms including broadcast, cable and premium television, radio and digital leading up to exclusive game coverage of Super Bowl 50. Much of the coverage originated from Super Bowl City at the foot of Market Street in San Francisco, which featured multiple sets, a football field and fan activation zone. On February 7, 2016, CBS Sports’ broadcast of Super Bowl 50 between Denver and Carolina was watched in all-or-part by a record 167 million viewers, making it the most-watched single broadcast in television history by that measure at the time. McManus also oversaw the launch of a comprehensive redesign of CBS Sports’ iconic logo that implemented a new on-air graphics look for CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network which debuted as part of the Network’s Super Bowl Week programming and Super Bowl 50. In February 2013, he also oversaw unprecedented Super Bowl coverage when the Network established CBS SUPER BOWL PARK at Jackson Square as New Orleans’ home to shows from nine CBS divisions across multiple platforms leading up to Super Bowl XLVII. On February 7, 2010, CBS Sports’ broadcast of Super Bowl XLIV between New Orleans and Indianapolis was watched by 106.5 million viewers making it the most-watched program in television history at the time.
In addition, McManus serves as executive producer for the acclaimed show INSIDE THE NFL on Showtime. In its first year on SHOWTIME in 2008, INSIDE THE NFL won the Sports Emmy® Award for Outstanding Studio Show-Weekly, and did so again for 2012. McManus is a 15-time Emmy Award-winner. In December 2016, he was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. In 2015 he was named to The Hollywood Reporter’s list of The 35 Most Powerful People in Media and also was honored with the Legacy Award at the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards. And in 2010, McManus was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.
During McManus’ more than 23 years as Chairman and President of the Division, CBS Sports has become the year-round leader in network sports television. In November 1999, he led CBS to an unprecedented landmark agreement with the NCAA which extended the exclusive over-the-air broadcast rights, as well as rights to the Internet, marketing and corporate sponsorship, merchandising, licensing, cable television, radio, satellite, digital and home video to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship until 2014. The 11-year pact was the most comprehensive sports agreement in history. In April 2010, he negotiated a landmark deal, partnering with Turner Broadcasting, to extend the rights to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship through 2024. The $10.8 billion deal is the most extensive and far-reaching network-cable sports deal ever created. And in April 2016, McManus, in partnership with Turner Broadcasting, negotiated with the NCAA an eight-year extension of its multimedia rights agreement for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship through 2032.
In March 2020, McManus reached a new multi-year agreement with the PGA TOUR to extend its broadcast rights through 2030 and to remain the TOUR’s dominant broadcast partner. He also extended broadcast rights to the PGA Championship in October 2018 with a historic, 11-year comprehensive multi-media rights agreement with the PGA of America and ESPN to provide live wall-to-wall, full field, 72-hole coverage of the PGA Championship beginning in 2020. Additionally, beginning in 2020, McManus secured a brand new deal with UEFA Champions League, making CBS Sports the home for the most prestigious club soccer tournament in the world. McManus negotiated CBS’ agreement with the United States Tennis Association to broadcast the U.S. Open through 2014, extended the agreement with the Big Ten to broadcast the conference’s basketball games through the 2016-17, and further extended the deal through the 2022-23 season, and extended the Southeastern Conference (SEC) football and basketball agreements in another landmark deal, a 15-year extension, through the 2023-24 season. In May 2012, McManus oversaw the acquisition of broadcast rights for men’s college basketball games from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big 12 and Pac-12 Conferences through an agreement with ESPN.
McManus brought Tony Romo to CBS Sports to be the lead NFL ON CBS analyst in April 2017 right from the field, something that had never been done. Together with Jim Nantz, this NFL ON CBS announce team is considered the best in the industry and one of the best in history. In February 2020, McManus signed Romo to an unprecedented 10-year extension to remain at CBS until 2031.
Complementing the on-air talent roster that had already included Jim Nantz, John McEnroe, Billy Packer and Ken Venturi, McManus was responsible for adding Greg Gumbel, James Brown, Dick Enberg, Verne Lundquist, Phil Simms, Dan Dierdorf, Lesley Visser, Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe, Dan Marino, Nick Faldo, Bill Cowher, Greg Anthony, Clark Kellogg, Jim Rome, Bart Scott, Tony Gonzalez, Rick Neuheisel, Brad Nessler and Romo to CBS Sports’ announcer lineup.
In addition, McManus led CBS’s efforts in securing a partnership with SportsLine USA that created CBS SportsLine, now known as CBSSports.com, one of the most successful sports Internet sites. In January 2008, McManus began overseeing CSTV’s cable and digital businesses initiating its re-branding as CBS COLLEGE SPORTS NETWORK, and further re-branding in April 2011 as CBS SPORTS NETWORK. In 2014, under his leadership, the network announced the first-ever, nationally-televised, all-female, weekly, hour-long, primetime sports show, WE NEED TO TALK on CBS Sports Network. In February 2018, McManus was instrumental in the launch of CBS SPORTS HQ, a 24-hour streaming sports news digital network in collaboration between CBS Sports and CBS Interactive that allows sports fans to watch live, full-day, anchored coverage of the day’s top sports storylines.
As president of CBS News, McManus restructured and re-tooled the Division, both in front of and behind the camera. Most notable on the on-air side was the April 2006 announcement that Katie Couric would join CBS News as the new anchor and managing editor of the CBS EVENING NEWS and a correspondent for 60 MINUTES. In December 2010, McManus also oversaw a major shift at THE EARLY SHOW, naming Erica Hill and Chris Wragge co-anchors, Jeff Glor news anchor and Marysol Castro, weather anchor. Also during his tenure, a new state-of-the-art newsroom at CBS News headquarters in New York and EVENING NEWS set were built, and a new primary control room was unveiled in July 2008.
McManus aggressively worked to build a strong corps of reporters, as well as developed the next generation of CBS News correspondents. He designated and assigned key beats including Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Lara Logan, Chief White House correspondent Chip Reid, Chief Investigative Correspondent Armen Keteyian, and National Correspondent Byron Pitts. McManus also added strong veteran correspondents to round out the group, including Jeff Greenfield and Dean Reynolds. He announced that CNN’s Anderson Cooper would contribute several stories to 60 MINUTES and CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta would contribute to the CBS EVENING NEWS.
McManus also led the Division through tragedy, when a car bomb attack in Baghdad on Memorial Day 2006 killed cameraman Paul Douglas and soundman James Brolan and critically injured correspondent Kimberly Dozier. In August 2009, McManus once again guided the Division through a difficult time, as correspondent Cami McCormick was seriously injured by an improvised exploding device (IED) in Afghanistan, in a blast that killed an American serviceman, Army Spc. Abraham Sherrod Wheeler III.
Under McManus, CBS News won more major awards than any other network’s news division, including one of electronic journalism’s most prestigious honors for an innovative, division-wide news initiative that he personally conceived and oversaw. “CBS REPORTS: Children of the Recession,” a months-long series of multi-platform reports on the effects of the dramatic economic downturn on America’s youth, won the coveted Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University award in January 2010. “Children of the Recession” also represented McManus’ reincarnation after four decades of the prestigious CBS REPORTS moniker, previously used for documentaries, as a Division-wide effort to offer comprehensive coverage of an issue across platforms and broadcasts. All told, the CBS News Division under McManus won three DuPont Awards, 19 Emmy Awards, four Peabody Awards and 29 RTDNA/Edward R. Murrow Awards.
Prior to his CBS Sports tenure, he was Senior Vice President of U.S. Television Sales and Programming for Trans World International, the television division of International Management Group, the world’s largest sports marketing firm (1987-96).
Before that, McManus was Vice President, Program Planning and Development at NBC Sports (1982-87), becoming the youngest vice president in the history of the network at the age of 27. He was responsible for all programming and was instrumental in the rights negotiations for the Olympics, the NFL, Wimbledon, the Breeders’ Cup, the Orange Bowl, auto racing and NCAA college basketball. McManus joined NBC Sports in 1979 as an associate producer assigned to the NFL, Wimbledon, the PGA TOUR, “Sportsworld,” auto racing and the Tour de France.
McManus began his career in 1977 at ABC Sports as a production assistant and associate producer.
McManus is the son of the late legendary sports broadcaster Jim McKay. He was graduated cum laude from Duke University in 1977 with a degree in English and History.