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The man finally selected was Jim Jensen, a handsome fellow from WCBS-TV's local news staff in New York. Roberts had seen him and had liked him. Jensen was dignified. He had a convincing manner and a sincere tone. Ah, but that opening. Somehow, in the editing by club members and ad agency writers, Jensen wound up identifying himself on the final tape as a "news correspondent."
Granted, that may seem accurate enough to outsiders, but in television there is an important line between a correspondent and ordinary Earth people. A correspondent is most properly a man over in Vietnam eyewitnessing assaults on poppy fields or, at the very least, a familiar face famed for discoursing on vital events. Jim Jensen, whether Masters officials realized it or not—and CBS was afraid to ask—was a local news announcer. This meant that the peak of his journalistic success might involve a description of events on the Long Island Expressway during a blizzard.
Therefore among those blue blazers on the Masters lawn there was genuine distress. If they asked to edit the word correspondent, Roberts might ask to edit five more commercials. At the same time, with Jensen falsely identifying himself, the phone would ring at Masters control, and it would be Jack Schneider wanting to know what was going on. Bill MacPhail, the vice-president in charge of sports, would have to take the call, and he did not really need a call like that from Schneider, who is the boss of everyone at CBS except William Paley and Dr. Frank Stanton.
Chirkinian has a habit of always being the voice of sanity and good humor, wherever he is. He was the most vital person, networkwise, in Augusta, for, as both the producer and chief director, he was in complete command. He was not overly worried about the Jensen dilemma. Jensen could introduce himself as Nancy Dickerson and it would be all right with Frank. The director was more concerned with the camera angles and velvet words that would fill the tense hours of live coverage.
Bill MacPhail, a gentleman who could easily make the semifinals in a Captain Nice Guy pageant, said, "This is serious, and I think worthy of a cocktail."
Chirkinian, acknowledged to be the best golf director in television and one who has been responsible for all kinds of innovations, proceeded to stroll away, doing one of his favorite things, singing a parody applicable to the event he happens to be covering. He sang:
That evening the problem of the program opening was temporarily put aside, and the elite guard of the CBS team turned to something of a more pressing nature—its annual Calcutta pool on the tournament. It was held in one of the six sumptuous private homes in Augusta that the company rents during Masters Week.