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Original Issue

Q&A Sean McManus

The 51-year-old--the son of sports broadcaster Jim McKay--is the president of CBS Sports and CBS News

SI: Do you read the sports section or the news section first?

McManus: Until Nov. 7, 2005 [when he took over at CBS News], I always read the sports section first. I now force myself, whether I like it or not, to read the news section first.

SI: When you were 17 you watched the kidnapping of the 1972 Israeli Olympic team in Munich unfold from a control room, next to your father. What do you remember about that time?

McManus: We were in this little studio outside the Olympic village. I was hanging in the back of the room watching Roone Arledge give orders to my father, Howard Cosell and Peter Jennings. It wasn't until I came back home and saw probably 1,000 letters and telegrams on our porch that I realized that people were hanging on my father's every word. To this day, 95 percent of the people who come up to him don't mention all the great sporting events he did. What they mention is Munich.

SI: You and Arledge are the only executives to run news and sports divisions simultaneously. Is that a heavy burden?

McManus: Trying to get accomplished what we want to is difficult and very labor-intensive. And I want to live up to Roone's great performance in transforming ABC News. That's an enormous responsibility and legend to try to live up to.

SI: If you could borrow one announcer from another network for one broadcast, who would you choose?

McManus: It would be fun to hear John Madden working with Phil Simms, and I say that because John has set the standard for a truly great NFL analyst. I also believe Phil in future years will distinguish himself as the best.

SI: Katie Couric began this week as host of the CBS Evening News. If Virginia makes it to the Final Four, does she have it in her contract to replace Billy Packer?

McManus: I'll say this: Her going to Virginia and my going to Duke has been a source of contention. And it didn't make the contract negotiations any easier.

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