Amidst these lingering questions, it's hard not to recall that, last October, then-President of CBS News Andrew Heyward was replaced by Sean McManus, who had been the head of CBS Sports since 1996. McManus, however, in a somewhat strange move, was to keep his job at the helm of CBS Sports while also running CBS News. Is it possible that the two divisions have become linked in a much more significant, tangible way? Surely there's a line between legitimate cross-promotion and a more peculiar and distasteful form of news-as-sportscast. Has it been crossed by one of the most venerable news shows to have ever existed?I asked "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager to respond. He first addressed the claim that "60 Minutes" had done too many stories about golfers this season.
"The criticism is correct," he said. "We shouldn't have done three golfers this year. It's unfortunate it worked out that way. We were committed to one, and then another came up that became irresistible, and then Tiger Woods became a possibility." He noted that the show had been trying to get the Woods story "for 10 years."
He also said, however, that McManus' arrival at the news division had nothing to do with this season's focus on golfers. "To suggest this has something to do with Sean McManus coming from sports is absurd," said Fager. "He's hoping for us to do good, interesting stories. He's focused on news. He's not pushing sports on us."