Rockville, MD (June 2, 2008) - I have never been one for conspiracy theories, but I am starting to feel one is out there as Tony Pettiti (pictured left) has now officially left CBS Sports, where he served as Executive Vice President and Executive Producer, with oversight responsibility for all daily operations, including production, personnel and editorial content, and joined Major League Baseball (MLB). At the time it was announced on April 24, 2008 by MLB, there was nary a word from CBS Sports about his departure. A search of CBS Sports press releases from that date though today does not have a single release related to his departure. But there was a telling statement from Sumner Redstone, Chairman of CBS and Viacom, about this past Saturday's prime-time broadcast of Mixed Martial Arts on CBS Sports. As reported in the Miami Herald:
The deal ''was probably a mistake because it [isn't] socially responsible for broadcast TV,'' Viacom and CBS chairman Sumner Redstone told trade publications at a recent conference in California. "I don't like the sport.''
Now aside from the hypocrisy of this statement about socially responsible broadcast television on CBS (ever watch some of the prime time offerings on the network, like the ones involving teenage groups sex on Cold Case, or the vile dialogue on Two and 1/2 Men?), the statement leads to a simpe question: was Redstone so upset that he want somebody at CBS Sports to be thrown under the bus? Certainly, it could not have been Sean McManus, since he is serving as President of both CBS News and CBS Sports. With the CBS News division in disarray, making McManus pay would not be a wise move. So who would then be the logical choice? Pettiti, of course.
Again, I have never been a fan of conspiracy theories, but since statement was made by the CBS chairman, it makes a lot of sense. It is a fair question that I have yet to see or hear in the mainstream media.