MLB Channel plucks Tony Petitti from CBS Sports
Just got back from a day of journalism adventures in Big Town and discovered this, from the venerable John Ourand of Sports Business Journal: Tony Petitti, Sean McManus' right-hand man at CBS Sports, is about to be hired to run the MLB Channel, which launches early next year.
You might not care, but it's really big news in my corner of the world. And it begs the question of whether Mr. McManus now will be tempted to leave troubled CBS News, which he also runs, and return full time to sports.
We shall see. For now, click below for Ourand's story:MLB has hired CBS Exec VP & Exec Producer Tony Petitti to run MLB Network, which is scheduled to launch in January. A formal announcement is expected as early as this week. Petitti's production skills earned him a sterling reputation at CBS Sports, and sources say he is making the move because he wants to run his own show. "Tony was a strong number two to (CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus) at CBS Sports, but the leadership position was not available to him," according to a source with knowledge of the deal.
At CBS, Petitti reported to McManus, who has deep relationships with several leagues. McManus said, "There are not too many executives that have the programming, production and business affairs experience that Tony has. There isn't a better executive in my mind to take on a challenge like the MLB Network."
MLB last month hired executive search firm Spencer Stuart to find a CEO, who will report to the net's board, which consists of five owners, two MLB executives and two network partners: Royals Owner David Glass, White Sox Chair Jerry Reinsdorf, Red Sox Chair Tom Werner, Mets co-Owner Jeff Wilpon and A's Owner Lewis Wolff, MLB President Bob DuPuy and Exec VP/Business Tim Brosnan, along with DirecTV President Chase Carey and Comcast COO Steve Burke. The CEO is expected to collaborate on a day-to-day basis with Brosnan. MLB Senior VP/Broadcasting Chris Tully is expected to be tapped as COO, reporting to Petitti.