CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus Tells the Story of How He Broke Out of His Father’s Shadow During His Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame Acceptance Speech

Having served at the highest ranks of both CBS Sports and CBS News (simultaneously, at one point), Sean McManus has solidified his place as one of the most powerful and influential media executives in the world. But even a man of McManus’ stature got his start somewhere.

mcmanusMcManus’s journey into sports TV began basically from birth when he was born the son of one of sports broadcasting’s all-time greats, Jim McKay. As a kid, he spent summers traveling with his father and experiencing the world’s greatest sports events with his dad who worked for ABC Sports.

Early on, however, McManus knew that he really wanted to accelerate his career out from under his father’s shadow. He shared the story during his acceptance speech at last week’s Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame ceremony.

“At lunch…in 1979, I asked my father for some career advice. He said to me ‘stand up, go to the back of the restaurant, there’s a payphone back there. Call Geoffrey Mason from NBC Sports and tell him you want to work for him. I dialed Geoffrey and on the first ring he picked up himself on the first ring and said ‘let’s meet tomorrow morning at 8:30.'”

Watch McManus’ story from his Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame acceptance speech:

Watch his full acceptance speech, including a story about a unique encounter between his father Jim McKay and Howard Cosell:

For more on the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, visit

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