CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus is a perfect example of sports executives who are improving the industry by advocating for women. Having worked at CBS since the late 1970s, McManus has risen within the ranks to his current role. As chairman of the sports network, McManus has been commended for championing women in the workplace.
Just one year after taking over as chairman in 2011, McManus was awarded the second-annual Women in Sports and Events (WISE) Champion Award, which is given each year to a male executive who has gone above and beyond to advocate for women in the workplace. Some of the criteria for selection include, clearly communicating a vision for women in the industry and their continued advancement, and showing consistent commitment to the promotion and acknowledgement of women’s careers.
“As the proud father of a soon-to-be teenage daughter, I am honored to be recognized by WISE as a champion of women in the workplace,” said McManus in aninterview with WISE. “CBS Sports has some of the most talented and accomplished women both on-air and behind-the-scenes in the sports television industry. I am proud of the environment we have created and fostered at CBS Sports where strong and successful women are paving the way for our daughters to learn, grow and succeed.”
One of the successful WISE Woman of the Year recipients includes legendary sportscaster Lesley Visser, who made history in 2020 after becoming the first woman to ever win a Sports Lifetime Achievement award. Visser worked alongside the first-ever recipient, Jim McKay, a famous sports broadcaster and McManus’ father. McManus was the person who was able to deliver the news about Visser’s award to her.
“For me, I feel privileged that I got to work a little bit with Jim McKay and now I work for Sean McManus,” she told CBS Sports. “I think I blithered when Sean called me. Matter of fact, I’m 100 percent certain I did.”
McManus has not shied away from advocacy whatsoever since receiving the prestigious WISE Award in 2012. McManus and NBA commissioner Adam Silver agreed to a multi-year television partnership for the WNBA. CBS Sports Network agreed to broadcast 40 live WNBA games in primetime and on weekends throughout the 2019 season.
“This partnership is one of the biggest and most impactful women’s sports programming arrangements ever at CBS Sports, offering national exposure of 40 games per year,” said McManus in a statement. “This agreement provides great live content throughout the summer in primetime and on weekends, and aligns two great brands in the WNBA and CBS Sports. We look forward to working with the WNBA for many years to come.”
Executives who respect and promote women in the often male-dominated sports industry are exactly what we need to promote gender equality. GoodSport admires McManus and hope other sports executives follow in his footsteps!
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