David Berson To Head CBS Sports as Sean McManus Sets Retirement

Sean McManus and David Berson
Sean McManus (l.) will be succeeded by David Berson. (Image credit: CBS Sports)

Paramount Global said CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus plans to retire next April, after 27 years as head of the division, and will be succeeded by David Berson, currently president of CBS Sports.

McManus, son of the legendary sportscaster Jim McKay, joined CBS Sports as president in 1996 and helped bring the National Football League back to the network in 1998.

Also Read: For CBS Sports’s Sean McManus, a Whole Different Ballgame

Benson joined CBS Sports in 2011 and has served as president under McManus since 2013.

“Sean is a first-ballot hall of fame executive who has masterfully managed all aspects of CBS Sports for 27 years and helped guide us through a transformative era in sports television,” George Cheeks, CEO of CBS and chief content officer of news and sports for Paramount Plus, said.  “His achievements here and the culture of excellence he established for CBS Sports — on screen and off — will benefit CBS and Paramount Global long into the future.”

Said McManus: “Leading CBS Sports has been an honor and I have been so fortunate to work with the most talented team in sports media, along with our incredible partners, for nearly three decades. It has been a fantastic run and the thrill of a lifetime.” 

“I am pleased to leave CBS Sports in an even stronger place than when I arrived, knowing that all of our marquee properties are locked up through this decade and beyond,“ he added. “The future at CBS Sports is in the extremely capable hands of David Berson, who will seamlessly succeed me, as we planned. He is an outstanding leader and strategist, with knowledge and experience across all facets of the business, and has established excellent relationships with our partners and across our team.”

Berson has been overseeing CBS Sports’ broadcast, cable, digital and streaming assets. He has also led numerous rights deals negotiations and talent hires.

“David is a brilliant, innovative and passionate leader with deep knowledge and relationships in all areas of our business,“ Cheeks said. “He is highly respected across the industry by his peers, our partners and within CBS Sports and Paramount Global.

“Sean and David’s excellent partnership the past decade has positioned CBS Sports for this smooth transition. David is the ideal executive to lead the next chapter of this proud and storied division,” Cheeks added.

“It has been the privilege of my career to have a front-row seat and work alongside Sean for the past 13 years,” Berson said. “He is the ultimate leader, mentor and friend. I look forward to carrying on the high standards he established, which help define CBS Sports. It is a genuine honor to lead our incomparable CBS Sports team and continue working closely with our world-class partners.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.