CBS had at least one honest-to-God reporter at the Superdome on Sunday: Armen Keteyian, who was on assignment for 60 Minutes Sports. When the lights went out, he was wrapping up an interview with an NFL exec, Frank Supovitz, senior VP for events. Paydirt! The cameras were still rolling, and Keteyian was getting an amazing firsthand account of one of the biggest fuck-ups in Super Bowl history.
And how did CBS take advantage of this incredible access? It didn't. If he relayed information to CBS Sports producers, it was impossible to tell. The dirty work was left to Steve Tasker and James Brown and Shannon Sharpe, and we know how well that went. Instead, Keteyian's report will air on Showtime on Wednesday, after he teased it on CBS This Morning yesterday. (We reached out to Keteyian. He was on deadline and couldn't comment.)
I'm sure it would've been tricky for Keteyian to run out of the control room and do something live for CBS, especially while the story was still unfolding in front of him. But what about after that? What about this footage? What about even a quick report on what he saw? Why in the world was his report embargoed for CBS This Morning and for Showtime on Wednesday? The Super Bowl reaches more than 100 million viewers; the morning show and Showtime's segment will receive a fraction of a fraction of that. Surely, CBS sports chairman Sean McManus was aware that he had Keteyian in the building. Keteyian is a real-life reporter who could've offered viewers more than the chuckleheaded bromides we got from the studio crew. Why not use him?
While Keteyian was wrapping up his segment on CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose said, "I also want to know what John Harbaugh was saying to that NFL official on the sideline." Everyone laughed without realizing they were providing further evidence of how badly CBS mangled things on Sunday. Who was Harbaugh yelling at? What was he saying? All questions that were left unanswered by the people who were actually there.