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Richard Deitsch
March 03, 2003
Martha's Target: CBS
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March 03, 2003

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Martha's Target: CBS

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? Martha Burk is planning one final attempt to get the Masters off TV, Burk, chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations, told SI she will request a meeting with CBS president Les Moonves in the next few weeks in which she will again ask the network not to broadcast the tournament it has aired since 1956. "Time is growing short," Burk says. "They probably will broadcast it, but we'll ask them not to." Burk thinks her chances of seeing Moonves are "fairly low but not zero." On Monday a Moonves spokesman declined to comment to SI on this subject and referred the matter to CBS Sports.

Since the Masters controversy erupted last summer, CBS has maintained that it will broadcast the tournament, which begins on April 10. Last September, CBS Sports president Sean McManus wrote to Burk, who is campaigning to persuade Augusta National to change its policy and admit female members, saying that failing to televise the Masters "would be a disservice to fans of this major championship."

Burk told SI that she will be in Augusta for the Masters, but she hasn't said what she'll do there except that "I have no plans to try to get inside the tournament, because I know CBS Sports would not cover [my attempt]." Burk added that CBS—which agreed to air the Masters without commercials after Augusta chairman Hootie Johnson arranged for his club to be the sole sponsor of the event this year—is "completely cowed by Augusta National. I am sure that if I set my hair on fire on the 1st tee and CBS Sports put it on camera, they would never get back in the game again. I know they wouldn't have the courage to cover anything we did on the inside." A spokesperson for CBS Sports would say only, "We have not discussed our plans for our coverage this year."