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CBS execs under less pressure

I made my sixth annual appearance Thursday at CBS' first-day-of-the-NCAAs viewing party in Manhattan and wrote this story about how life has changed for the people in charge of what you see and where and when you see it.

(Oops, sorry. Didn't mean to offend anyone at CBS, Turner or the NCAA. It officially was the THIRD day of the tournament.)

The event was much less crowded than usual, owing to a variety of factors - St. Patrick's Day and warm weather among them - but presumably one reason was that unlike in the past, you could see every game in your living room just as easily as at the CBS Broadcast Center.

No matter, I got in my work, my schmoozing and my eating, so it was all good.

For all but a few minutes, when's Richard Deitsch came by, I had the row reserved for media members to myself.

I visited the main New York set, where Charles Barkley was in fine form both on the air and off.

The main New York set - the one also used for "The NFL Today" - had a cool new look with a hoops motif, including a regulation basket that probably will be used later in the tournament when there are fewer games.

It was an exciting for day of the tournament, despite St. John's boring, depressing loss.

President Obama picked 14 winners and is in the 99.7th percentlle of's bracket contest.

I currently rank lower than that.

It was good to see Princeton give a gallant effort before falling to Kentucky.

I hope they enjoyed their one-year rental of the Ivy League's automatic bid. Next year let's go back to an Ivy rep that can reach the Sweet 16.


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