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CBS Shake-Up: McManus to Sports, Fager to News

Sean McManus was only executive besides Roone Arledge to run news and sports divisions simultaneously

Sean McManus is leaving his position as president of CBS News and Sports to focus solely on sports, and "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager will take over as chairman of CBS News, the network announced Tuesday.

David Rhodes, the former head of U.S. Television for Bloomberg, was named president of the news division.

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McManus was named president of CBS Sports in November 1996 and president of CBS News in October 2005. ABC's Roone Arledge is the only other executive to hold both titles simultaneously, as he did from 1977 to 1986.

Under McManus, CBS won three DuPont Awards, 12 Emmy Awards, four Peabody Awards and 29 RTDNA/Edward R. Murrow Awards. As president of sports, extended the network's rights to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, and repeatedly acquired broadcast rights to the National Football League.

Fager, who became the executive producer of "60 Minutes" when its founder, Don Hewitt, retired in 2004, will retain that position as he takes over as chairman. Rhodes will report to Fager, who will report to Moonves. Their appointments are effective Feb. 22.  

One of the new team's first challenges will be negotiating with "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric, whose 5-year, $15 million-a-year contract is up in May. Couric has drawn interest from a wide range of other news outlets, a source close to the anchor told TheWrap in December.

In a statement, CBS President Les Moonves called sports "an ever-more important asset to CBS."

"As we expand our operations at CBS Sports, CBS College Sports Network and in other parts of our company as well, we will require Sean's uncommon depth of knowledge of the business, his deal-making acumen and his unique and positive relationships throughout the world of sports to keep CBS on top of that game."

In a separate statement, Moonves praised Fager and Rhodes.

"In these two great news professionals, we get the best of both worlds: the quintessential insider with deep knowledge of the business and all the moving parts at CBS News, as well as a dynamic young executive with strong news management experience and a tough, fresh point of view," Moonves said.