5 Questions for Jim McKay

Recently the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand spoke with legendary sportscaster and ASA Hall of Famer Jim McKay. After more than 50 years behind the mike, McKay, 84, lives with his wife, Margaret, on a 40-acre farm in Maryland. He said he is “quite happy” in retirement. His son, Sean McManus, was named President of CBS News. McManus, who uses the family’s original name, will continue as the head of CBS Sports.

Q: What goes through your mind as a father when you hear people bring your son’s name up with that of Roone Arledge (who ran both ABC News and Sports)?

A: I always thought Sean would be very good at whatever he wanted to do. He was always a very concentrated kid. He is very bright. I thought of him in terms of the sports department because of my own career, and that’s where he started. Being President of CBS Sports was a very good job. He didn’t need anything more. Being President of News is very satisfying to me and my wife because both of us started as citywide newspaper reporters for the Baltimore Evening Sun. For him to be in news is an extra bonus for us. We both are big news freaks.

Q: Do you have any suggestions for him?

A: He doesn’t need them. He is doing very well on his own. Growing up, he always asked very good questions. He would always pry out your opinion by asking different questions. One time, when he was 10 or 11, we were driving to Mass on Sunday and he said, ‘Dad, if you had to pick out one member of your family to crucify, which one would you pick?’ I said ‘Sean, why are you always asking such provocative questions? You know very well that I could never pick between you and Mom and your sister, Mary, to be crucified.” He said, ‘You never even thought about yourself, did you?’

Q: When you look at your career, what are you most proud of?

A: The one thing that comes to mind is that perhaps I helped people take the coverage of sports a little more seriously. I don’t mean somberly. I mean as a serious thing rather than just simply hyping sports. IN other word, to report the way you would report the news.

Q: If you could do one thing over in your career, what would you do differently?

A: I would have liked very much to be a news anchorman. It was just that the opportunity kept opening up in sports instead of news.

Q: You might have an in, if you applied for the CBS’ lead anchor job now.

A: Yeah, that is a definite impossibility.