Former CBS newsman Dan Rather may be bitter about the way his departure was handled by the network, but CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus said the network was unable to accommodate Rather's desire to do long-form programming.
Given the time constraints put on the news division, McManus said CBS would not have been able to carve out the time needed for Rather to anchor in-depth documentaries.
McManus met with Rather for lunch June 25, the long-time anchorman's final day at the network. Two previous lunches had been scheduled between the pair, but had to be cancelled due to scheduling conflicts, he said.
McManus told the CBS News session at the Summer Press Tour that he had sought out Rather's advice on a variety of topics and had intended to continue to do so.
Earlier this week, Rather told critics that he was going to billionaire Mark Cuban's HD Net to do the type of reporting he wanted. He has been critical of CBS in interviews since he left.
Incoming CBS News anchor Katie Couric declined to comment on Rather's departure when asked, saying she felt "uncomfortable" giving her opinion on a matter in which she did not know the "full story."
In other CBS News developments, McManus revealed that correspondent Kimberly Dozier will be released later this week from Bethesda Naval Hospital into rehab after being severely injured recently while reporting from Iraq.
McManus said Dozier will have use of her legs and suffered no cognitive damage, crediting the military with providing her the care that led to her recovery. "She has no real business being alive now," said McManus.
Once Dozier has fully recovered, she will return to CBS News as a correspondent, says McManus.