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CBS Affils Chairman Salutes New News Leadership

In the wake of CBS's changes atop its news division, which sees Sean McManus give up his news leadership role to concentrate on sports, CBS Affiliates Board Chairman Wayne Daugherty thinks the new leadership might help shake up the network's underperforming morning and evening news programs.

"I'm excited," he says. I think this can be a very good change for CBS News. I think you may see some more energy coming to CBS."

60 Minutes Executive Producer Jeff Fager was named chairman of CBS News, and David Rhodes, former head of U.S. television for Bloomberg, has the division president title.

Daugherty cited McManus for his work atop CBS News, and in particular his stable influence on the division over the years--especially in the wake of former star anchor Dan Rather's ignominious departure from CBS.

Daugherty is executive VP and COO at Raycom, which owns 10 CBS affiliates. One GM in the Raycom bunch worked closely with Fager at the station level years ago, and spoke of Fager's intelligence, energy and integrity. Rhodes isn't as well known at Raycom.

Daugherty says the affiliates always had an approachable ally in McManus, and believes the shakeup will allow McManus, now chairman of CBS Sports, to continue to excel in sports programming.

"I think it's a win-win for us," says Daugherty.