David Berson is the new president of CBS Sports, a jump up from his previous role overseeing the difficult-to-remember-it-exists CBS Sports Network. Sean McManus will remain chairman of CBS Sports, but I've been told that his job will become increasingly figurehead-ish and Berson is going to take over a lot of his duties.

The endless battle in buying up live sports rights—Fox Sports 1, NBC Sports Network, the SEC Network, et al—is starting to take its toll on CBS. The network recently locked up its coverage for the SEC game of the week for another decade, but it's suddenly going to have competition in that treasured late Saturday afternoon time slot: ESPN's new SEC Network will run games opposite it starting next year. CBS is losing its 40-year plus rights to the U.S. Open in two years after ESPN wildly outspent them for rights. CBS will also start sharing the Final Four weekend with Turner starting next year. It's also been a pretty terrible time over there in terms of publicity thanks to its terrible coverage during the Super Bowl blackout and the Masters. The CBS Sports pie keeps getting a little smaller, and someone over there correctly figured a new executive to shore things up is exactly what they need.

Berson is a respected guy and worked for ESPN for 16 years before he became a victim of ESPN's nutty reaction to the Steve Phillips, Brooke Hundley affair. A lot of people in Bristol regret getting rid of him.


[LA Times]