CBS Says It Will Air the Masters
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ATLANTA (AP) _ CBS Sports dismissed a national women’s group’s request that it drop its Masters coverage because of Augusta National’s all-male membership.
CBS Sports president Sean McManus faxed a reply Thursday to Martha Burk, chairwoman of the National Council of Women’s Organizations, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
``I very much appreciate you sharing your position on CBS’ broadcasts of the Masters tournaments,″ McManus said.
``However, as a sports television programmer serving millions of men and women who eagerly anticipate and avidly watch the Masters network broadcast each year, CBS will cover the Masters as it has done for the past 46 years. To not do so would be a disservice to fans of this major championship.″
The National Council of Women’s Organizations sent a letter in June urging Augusta National to accept a female member. Club chairman Hootie Johnson replied in a three-page statement that the 69-year-old club would not be ``bullied″ into that decision.
Last month, the club dropped the Masters’ three television sponsors for the 2003 tournament in an attempt to shield them from any controversy over the club’s all-male membership.
CBS Sports has had a series of one-year deals since 1956 to televise the Masters, the highest-rated golf tournament.