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It’s official: Gus Johnson heads to FOX

GusJohnsonNCAAGetty Getty Images

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.

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40 Responses to “It’s official: Gus Johnson heads to FOX”
  1. chatham10 says: May 10, 2011 7:24 AM

    Hey guys, here you go guessing again. I’ m sure the source says Jim Nantz or are we making up another story, always remember “do not let a good story get in the way of the truth or facts”

  2. micksalot says: May 10, 2011 7:26 AM

    Nice – considering the best teams are in the AFC this means I won’t have to hear him announcing them. Put him on the Seahawks/Niners and Redskins/Lions games.

  3. chapnastier says: May 10, 2011 7:40 AM

    I don’t think he was becoming too popular. I guess if people like loud, obnoxious announcers who make up names for players and insist on being bigger than the game then Gus is your guy.

  4. justanotherdummy says: May 10, 2011 7:55 AM

    I cannot recall hearing him do many NFL games, but he is the worst MMA broadcaster I have ever heard. He just does not understand the sport or know what is going on inside a cage.

  5. ballinmore says: May 10, 2011 8:01 AM

    By far the best sports announcer.

  6. armchairgm9 says: May 10, 2011 8:08 AM

    I love that Gus will be doing more footbally, but the fact that he’s no longer going to be doing the NCAA tournament is sad.

  7. catman72 says: May 10, 2011 8:08 AM

    Cool, the best conference gets the best announcer.

  8. drmonkeyarmy says: May 10, 2011 8:26 AM

    Nantz is terrible and over sentimentalizes everything. Wouldn’t surprise me if he was acting like a baby about Gus Johnson’s popularity.

  9. paulitik74 says: May 10, 2011 8:28 AM

    Jim Nantz is a tea-party douche who can’t stand getting outshined by the black guy. Huge mistake on CBS’s part.

    At least we get Johnson covering NFC games. We’ll miss him during March Madness.

  10. shackdelrio says: May 10, 2011 8:34 AM

    That’s a shame. Looked forward to hearing him call my team’s games and he was great during March Madness. Definitely Fox’s gain.

    Now that Johnson is gone, Nantz can go back to what he does best. Sniffing Tom Brady’s jock.

  11. marcinhouston says: May 10, 2011 8:34 AM

    For what its worth, Johnson is hated in the mixed martial arts community for his commentating on Strikeforce events on Showtime and CBS where he reinforced negative stereotypes about the sport. On the last Strikeforce show on CBS there was a stupid brawl after the title fight which was something that had never happened before in the history of the UFC or Strikeforce but has been known to occur a few times a season in the MLB, NHL, etc. And then Gus Johnson gave his famous line “sometimes these things happen in mixed martial arts” while CBS continued to air the brawl instigated by a low ranked fighter desperately seeking attention, and then CBS replayed the same incident in full on the west coast market, and then they stopped airing the sport on network tv but continued to have Johnson commentate on Strikeforce events on Showtime although he is neither a fan of nor knowledgeable about the sport. So, trust me, some are saying good riddance to Gus Johnson.

  12. godofwine330 says: May 10, 2011 8:39 AM

    “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…”

    Now this is just ridiculous. Well, good for him. Too popular? Wow. Well, at least he is wanted at Fox.

  13. skins23 says: May 10, 2011 8:46 AM

    I hope this doesn’t have racial undertones. What else could it be? GJ was CBS’ best announcer and EASILY the most exciting guy when NCAAs rolled around.

  14. hunternuts says: May 10, 2011 8:48 AM

    Great, one less reason to watch NFL on Fox. Between this clown and Joe Buck, this is officially the worst sports broadcasting outside of NHL. They need to elevate Tim Ryan, or someone who actually knows ANYTHING about football.

  15. kantnockdahustle89 says: May 10, 2011 8:49 AM

    I dont watch much NFC so this kind of sucks. He makes every game exciting. At least I have Mike Mayock to look forward to on NFL Network games this year.

  16. coys10 says: May 10, 2011 8:49 AM

    “Highly Popular?” You must be kidding.
    Anytime he calls the Giants games, TV volume goes off, and Giants radio broadcast goes on my audio.

  17. austskate says: May 10, 2011 8:53 AM

    Big fan of Gus obviously. The move isn’t that big of a deal for the NFL, since he usually doesn’t have a marquee game anyways, although I bet FOX gives him better games than CBS did. Going to miss him for the NCAA tourney though.

  18. closisgood says: May 10, 2011 9:05 AM

    I hate this guy.

  19. mike41april says: May 10, 2011 9:08 AM

    PLEASE let this mean I don’t have to listen to that loud mouthed Brian Baldinger anymore!

    Dear Baldy, no one cares what you think or what you have to say!
    Signed, Redskins fans everywhere

  20. deadmanwalking47 says: May 10, 2011 9:19 AM

    great gain for FOX!

  21. maxvv says: May 10, 2011 9:41 AM

    “…Loud, obnoxious announcers who make up names for players and insist on being bigger than the game…”

    Berman?

  22. jroneputt says: May 10, 2011 9:42 AM

    The posts on this blog always interest me. An article on Gus J gives people a chance to blast Nance and Buck, and it becomes a NFC vs AFC forum also. So if you are an NFC fan are you democrat or republican?

  23. closisgood says: May 10, 2011 9:45 AM

    Why go from being the 2nd guy to to the 3rd guy. Unless he replaces kenny albert…?

  24. chapnastier says: May 10, 2011 9:47 AM

    jroneputt says: May 10, 2011 9:42 AM

    The posts on this blog always interest me. An article on Gus J gives people a chance to blast Nance and Buck, and it becomes a NFC vs AFC forum also. So if you are an NFC fan are you democrat or republican?
    —————————————————–

    They always interest me too. There is always some fool who brings up political parties or race when they have absolutely nothing to do with the post to begin with. Thanks for being one of them!

  25. comeonnowguys says: May 10, 2011 10:02 AM

    Whatever pushes Dick Stockton out the door is fine with me.

  26. thereisalwaysnextyear says: May 10, 2011 10:09 AM

    “The next time, of course, there actually is a football season.”

    Man, y’all need to start taking some Prozac or Paxil!!!

  27. gregjennings85 says: May 10, 2011 10:22 AM

    micksalot:

    “Nice – considering the best teams are in the AFC this means I won’t have to hear him announcing them. Put him on the Seahawks/Niners and Redskins/Lions games.”

    _________________________________

    Well-said. I can still remember what it felt like watching the NFC lose the Super Bowl.

    No, wait – the Packers rolled right through the AFC Champion, Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Scoreboard.

  28. gregjennings85 says: May 10, 2011 10:25 AM

    Gus Johnson > A deranged street person > Jim Nantz, in that order.

  29. tednancy says: May 10, 2011 10:37 AM

    Great news for AFC fans who have been liberated from having to listen to this gas bag.

    Gus is the worst, but his popularity demonstrates the overall decline in cultural standards. Whether it’s obnoxious commercials, obnoxious stadium music or obnoxious sports announcers – we are dumbing down the sport one moron at a time.

    CBS: good move cleansing yourself of this filth. Fox? Remind me to get the game on radio. . .

  30. jroneputt says: May 10, 2011 10:38 AM

    Chap, I was actually making the same point you did, but I did it without calling anyone a fool.

  31. southridge23 says: May 10, 2011 10:39 AM

    my impression of Gus Johnson…(ahem):

    “Tomlinson hits the HOOOOOLLLLE!!!! OH MY Do you BELIEVE IT?! That was the single GREATEST 2 yard run I have EVER seen”

    thank you…

  32. rajbais says: May 10, 2011 11:34 AM

    This is a great move for FOX!!!

    If Jim Nantz was jealous then it’s nonsense! Why should he be jealous as the #1 announcer when he’s truly CBS’s #1 method to put you to sleep???

    It’s not like Gus Johnson is taking a part of Nantz’s $7 million salary that his ex-wife is.

    I understand that Nantz has a friendly relationship with CBS, but his inability to get people excited (which should be declared a new rule for an announcer!!!) is why you can’t always rely on your friends when you need to get ahead in business!!!

    Gus, we’re rooting for you!!! Thrill us wherever you can!!!

  33. DonRSD says: May 10, 2011 12:17 PM

    Gus is annoying.
    yelling for no reason

    hopefully he gets the 3rd or 4th game assignments so i dont have to hear him

    GO BIG BLUE!!!

  34. sportsmediacritic says: May 10, 2011 12:18 PM

    Gus Johnson and Mike Mayock would have been a match made in heaven–the NFL network missed the boat on that dream team.

    Fox finally made a wise booth decision with Gus Johnson. Would also like to see Gus do some college games.

    Makes the guy more exciting, especially when he’s calling your team and your team is winning.

  35. pennstate3166 says: May 10, 2011 12:27 PM

    What do so many people see in this guy? He is an over-hyped announcer who is best known for his annoying shouts and groans. He lacks self-control and seems like he wants to be the show instead of letting the game be the attraction. He would be best doing pro wrestling broadcasts.

    I just don’t get the attraction to him. Compare him to all-time greats like Pat Summerall, Dick Enberg, Keith Jackson, Brent Musberger, Curt Gowdy and others….no comparison at all, not even close.

    I am sure I will get negative feedback from the Red Bull-drinking crowd who can’t watch a ball game without a screaming announcer getting them hyped up. But thats fine…go for it.

  36. pennstate3166 says: May 10, 2011 12:35 PM

    Shame on you people who are bringing race into this…just because he is black, that means we can’t say anything negative about him? John Saunders is a much better and more knowledgeable announcer than Johnson, while being MUCH easier on the ears. Sounds like the people bringing up Johnson’s race, when nobody mentioned it otherwise, are the ones who are the real racists. Grow up and get your brains out of the 1800′s!!

  37. mrklutch says: May 10, 2011 5:39 PM

    While I am very excited for more enthusiasm in NFL games from Johnson on Fox, March Madness will not be the same. :(

    Officially a sad panda.

  38. chapnastier says: May 10, 2011 6:52 PM

    jroneputt says:
    May 10, 2011 10:38 AM
    Chap, I was actually making the same point you did, but I did it without calling anyone a fool.
    ————————————————

    My bad man! You can tell how frustrated I become when people do it! I apologize!

  39. donttouchthedirtypenny says: May 10, 2011 8:50 PM

    “Since when did it make sense for a network to run off an announcer because he was becoming too popular?”
    CBS did the same thing in 1990 to Brent Musberger. They have a history of running the best voices out of town.

  40. stampnhawk says: May 10, 2011 9:06 PM

    Any shakeup in the Fox broadcast booths means that there’s a chance Ron Pitts goes somewhere else, so for that reason alone, it’s a good move. It’s hard enough watching your team every week struggle, but the toughest part of being a fan of a mediocre NFC team is putting up with the bottom of the totem pole announcers like Pitts and to a lesser extent Chris Rose.

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