Veteran Television Sports Executive to Play Strategic Role in CBS Sports Operations and Manage the Company’s Fast-Growing Cable Sports Channel
“David’s fresh perspective and distinguished record of success will be a tremendous asset to CBS Sports’ industry-leading portfolio,” said McManus. “He has expertise across the many disciplines of sports media and has launched the kind of collegiate sports programming channels that will help CBS College Sports achieve even greater success. As our portfolio of brands continues to expand and thrive, I’m very pleased to have David by my side and I look forward to his insight, counsel and contributions.”
McManus also announced today that Steve Herbst, who has served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of CBS College Sports Network, will be leaving his post at the end of the year.
“Steve has played a key role in the management of CBS College Sports Network during a time of great growth, helping make it the profitable franchise that it is today,” said McManus. “We’re very thankful for all his many contributions and have no doubt he will have success in whatever he chooses to take on next.”
Berson comes to CBS with 16 years of experience at ESPN, where he began his career as an intern during college and later worked in various capacities in programming, affiliate sales and marketing and business development.
Berson most recently co-ran ESPN’s programming department and was responsible for programming strategy, scheduling, development and driving audience consumption for all of ESPN’s domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, ABC Sports) as well as for ESPN’s digital media platforms (ESPN3.com and ESPN Mobile TV). He was central in working with key figures in the sports media industry to identify the content to be produced and distributed by ESPN. Berson had ultimate responsibility for determining the level of ESPN’s commitment to a specific sport or programming concept, including events and support programming, with the goal of best serving sports fans while driving ESPN’s multimedia business. He also had responsibility for developing, launching and managing new businesses, including ESPN’s all-college network, ESPNU, and ESPN’s emerging high school sports business.
Berson led the programming group through a dynamic period at ESPN and ABC, including the launch of numerous additional networks and multimedia products. Since 2001 when he took over responsibility for programming scheduling and strategy, ESPN networks set record audience levels each year and, in an era of rapid media industry change and proliferation of consumer entertainment options, ESPN ratings grew 34 percent.
In January 2006, The Sporting News listed Berson, then 33, on its annual list of “Young & Powerful.” In 2007, 2008 and 2009, he was selected as a SportsBusiness Journal “Forty Under 40” recipient and named as a “Forty Under 40 Hall of Famer.” In 2007 and 2008, he was listed on BusinessWeek’s “The Power 100” ranking of the 100 most powerful people in sports.
He is a graduate of the University of Michigan (B.A. in communications / business).
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