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McManus in the Arena

Sean McManus
The ease that Sean McManus and David Berson have with each other was on display hours before they were set to produce what is expected to be the most-watched telecast in U.S. history. Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images/SiriusXM
John Ourand
February 12, 2024

Sean McManus and David Berson have a decent stock answer whenever anybody asks what changes to expect when the former steps down after his 28-year run atop CBS Sports following The Masters and hands the reins to the latter. McManus usually fields the question by talking about the layout of his Manhattan office, where his desk is set up with his back to the window. “David plans to turn the desk around so that he can look out the window,” he told me over the weekend. “That’s actually true,” Berson chimed in, with a laugh.

For those who have followed their careers, as I have, it has been an elegant demonstration of succession planning. Thirteen years ago, McManus hired Berson to run CBS’s cable sports channel, CBS Sports Network. He identified Berson as someone who ultimately would take over the whole thing, and Berson has been included in just about every negotiation ever since.