Executive Director of Business Affairs, CBS Sports
By Lindsay Rubino -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/4/2012 12:01:00 AM
“I get my hands in a lot,” O’Toole says. “Whether it’s working with our interactive group, af! liate relations, standards and practices, sales, or entertainment and news—no two days are the same.”
The diversity of her purview—O’Toole negotiates CBS Sports’ talent and production deals; manages legal contracts with CBS Sports’ partners, including the NFL, the NCAA, PGA Tour and the U.S. Tennis Association; and oversees rights issues, licensing and clearances across all CBS divisions—has occupied her at the helm of the department since 1999. Her wide-ranging responsibilities are also the most difficult aspect of leading CBS Sports’ business affairs.
“It’s never dull. [CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus] keeps giving me more and more opportunities,” she says. “[And] when we’re heading into the Super Bowl, the Final Four and the Masters at the same time, it can be challenging to juggle everything that needs to get done.”
While O’Toole was involved in athletics growing up, working within the sports or entertainment industry was not a career she sought. After graduating with a degree in paralegal studies from St. John’s University, she landed a job with CBS as a paralegal before moving, somewhat serendipitously, over to sports in 1996 as manager of business affairs. After three years, she was promoted to her current position.
O’Toole credits her loyalty and longevity at CBS Sports to her coworkers, who are “like a family,” she says. “We have fun working together. We know our separate roles, but we know our roles as a team.”
One of her proudest accomplishments with CBS is her involvement with the NFL contract negotiations; CBS Sports is currently gearing up for its turn at airing the Super Bowl in February 2013. (Her other proudest accomplishment: being a mother to her two young sons.)
“We’re close to full steam ahead with the Super Bowl,” O’Toole says. “That’s one of the most exciting things I get to do—work with our great partner in the NFL.”
Even if she did not originally seek out sports, O’Toole is mighty glad to have found her home at the network, an arrangement that has worked out very well all around.
“As it turns out,” the veteran CBS exec says, “I stumbled into something that I really, really love to do.”
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