Last week, Richard Deitsch of SI.com reported that highly popular NFL play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson (also known for announcing NCAA men’s basketball) had left CBS. Thereafter, Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News called the report “premature,” given that CBS had a chance to match the offer Johnson later got from FOX.
Raissman now reports that CBS opted not to match the offer from FOX, which means that Johnson is indeed out at CBS. And that he’ll now be working for FOX.
It’s still unknown whether Johnson’s CBS contract required an opportunity to match, or whether Johnson opted to do so because (as we surmised on Monday) he simply didn’t want to leave CBS.
Interestingly, Raissman reports that some within CBS (cough . . . Jim Nantz? . . . cough) “were not thrilled with Johnson’s rise to March Madness’ most popular voice.”
Sheesh. Since when did it make sense for a network to run off an announcer because he was becoming too popular? That said, if Johnson was becoming hard to work with because of his popularity, then that could become an issue. But notions of jealousy and turf protection shouldn’t be driving decisions of this nature.
For NFL fans, the move means only that Johnson will primarily be working NFC games, not AFC games, on Sundays during football season. The next time, of course, there actually is a football season.