Seated at a desk in a production trailer at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend, Ewert said the major change under his guidance will be ``more storytelling, more human stories.''
Ewert believes devoted NASCAR fans will stay with telecasts through caution periods and even rain delays. With more features, however, Ewert thinks CBS will catch the attention of channel surfers.
``Even if you're not a racing fan, you care about people and their stories,'' he said. ``NASCAR has a great deal of rich stories.''
Ewert and McManus began their association at NBC, when McManus was a vice president of programming and Ewert was coordinating producer of ``Sports World.'' Ohlmeyer had created ``Sports World.'' When he left the network, the show almost was canceled.
``Sean and I helped revive it,'' Ewert recalled, ``by changing its philosophy to a single-event show [and] adding more features and people stories.''
Ewert moves to CBS from the Atlanta Olympics, where he was head of production and deputy managing director. He is confident McManus is the leader CBS needs.
``Sean has brought a new energy and a new excitement [to the network],'' Ewert said. ``The concentration now is to get properties.''
Although it will be a difficult maneuver, CBS has its eye on regaining some NFL telecasts.
MASTERING TIGERMANIA Ewert now is in Augusta, Ga., observing how his crews handle the Masters telecasts. Channel 3's coverage of the prestigious golf tournament begins tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m. The USA Network carries the Masters today at 4 p.m. CBS also will air a Masters highlights tonight at 11:35.
This might surprise those who have been swept up in Tigermania, but Tiger Woods isn't the only golfer competing in the Masters this week.
While Woods has generated tremendous interest in golf, a questioner on the CBS Masters conference call wondered if the other top pros resent all the attention Woods is receiving. The answer: There's a mixed reaction.
David Feherty, who brings a pleasant Irish accent to the telecast from his 15th hole post, said: ``A couple of the major egos might be miffed to start with, but the game is a great leveler. The older, wiser [golfers] are going to be content to sit back and see how he does in the long run.''
Said Peter Kostis (10th hole): ``Some of the top players are happy that he's here and deflecting some of the press attention away from them. They're happy to just practice and play. Secondly, I sense that his presence has sparked these guys to work harder.''
CBS is airing a one-hour special on Woods at 3 p.m. Sunday.
CHANNEL CLICKING Football fans get their spring fix starting tomorrow as the World League opens its season on fX. Scotland meets Amsterdam at 1 p.m., followed by Barcelona vs. the Rhein Fire. On Sunday at 10 a.m., it's Frankfurt vs. London.
The Classic Sports Network continues its ``Salute to Philadelphia'' week with the Eagles-Packers 1960 NFL championship game tonight at 11 o'clock (Bill Campbell and Curt Gowdy cohost). ``The Legend of Mike Schmidt'' airs 10 a.m. Sunday.