Saturday, April 07, 2007

CBS Should Replace McManus

Just a few days ago, March Madness concluded. Perhaps you remember this. Or, perhaps you are still waiting for CBS to come back from commercial. Luckily, as an Eagles fan, I do not watch on a regular basis CBS's coverage of the NFL. But, as a college basketball fan, I am forced to watch the NCAA tournament on the Commercial Broadcasting System. CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus must be replaced by CBS if they hope to remain a legitimate source for either.

CBS's coverage of the tournament consisted of more commercials (and the same ones over and over again... that John Mellencamp song is just annoying!) than it did anything else. In the early rounds, when there were multiple games on at one time, you probably experienced something similar to this: your game went to halftime and there was a commercial break. Back in the studio, Seth Davis and Clark Kellogg analyzed the first half of the game for about 8 seconds before Greg Gumbel said it was time to go peek in on another game. For about 4 minutes, you got to see this other game. Then, Gumbel said it was time to go back to your game. Long commercial break. After this break, Gubmel said, "Coming up, the second half!" Immediately, there was another commercial break. The play-by-play announcer then came on and said something like, "It's just about time for the second half to start." Then, yet another commercial break. Finally, after 12 minutes of commercials, the second half started. A couple of minutes into the second half, you were magically whisked to another game that was "closer" but also happened to be 15 seconds from a TV timeout, which, of course, you were subject to sit through again.

Even when there was not a commercial break, the play-by-play announcer would have to plug some CBS show at every stoppage of play, rather than allowing the color commentator to analyze something that had just occurred.

Furthermore, McManus continues to employ Billy Packer. Packer is widely considered to be a marginal announcer and not well respected. Yet, every year, when the championship game rolls around, there he is.

McManus is also in charge of CBS News, which is currently in 3rd place in the ratings. Of course, rather than attempting to develop a solution to the problem, he simply says that Katie Couric is the vicitim of a gender bias. He even went so far as to say that it's tough for her because she has to be concerned about "a lot of things the male anchor doesn’t have to worry about, like how she looks or what she is wearing." Yep. That's right. I remember many nights when Peter Jennings would be on screen in his blue jeans, the shirt he was wearing to paint the kitchen, and a baseball cap.

CBS should reconsider keeping this guy around if they want to remain a player in the News and Sports industries. McManus clearly doesn't know what he is doing.

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