09 May 2011

Gus Johnson Leaves CBS, Heads to FOX

The major and surprising news of the day is that Gus Johnson, considered by some to be the voice of March Madness with his energetic calls as well as calling NFL games, has left CBS over a contract dispute, according to the terrific Richard Deitsch. March Madness will not be the same without Johnson making some trademark calls that make him a favorite for many young folks, like myself. I personally love Johnson on college hoops but not as much on football, and many times he tries so hard to make that special call even at mediocre moments it can take away from the game itself.
Johnson will move over to FOX Sports to work as their lead college football guy with select NFL games after college football season. 
Arguably the main reason why Johnson left CBS was due to the lack of upward promotion. He has publicly clamored to do a Final Four but the golden boy of CBS Sports, Jim Nantz, has that mantle. He also did not have much room to be promoted on NFL as well. Now while FOX has no NCAA Tournament, they will give him the opportunity to do more high profile NFL games. Plus he will have the opportunity to call some high profile PAC-12 football games, including the PAC-12 Football and Basketball Championship Games, which FOX will alternate with ABC.
There is no doubt that Johnson has built himself on the fact that he is very popular with young folks (how many broadcasters sell their own trademarked clothing?) but CBS was not going to give him more high profile assignments. So both sides have moved on. Will this turn out to be the right move? Only time will tell.

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