CBS has announced that its No. 1 NFL broadcasting team, which will call both Thursday night and Sunday afternoon games, has added a sideline reporter.
Tracy Wolfson, a veteran sideline reporter who has worked primarily on SEC football games and NCAA Tournament basketball games, will join the team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms on CBS. The move was just announced today, but it was previously reported by Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated.
Although Wolfson has worked select NFL games in the past, having a sideline reporter working every week is a departure for CBS, which has generally shied away from sideline reporters during NFL games. In 2006, when CBS got rid of sideline reporters, CBS Sports President Sean McManus said sideline reporters were “diverting attention” from the announcers in the booth, adding that, “If I want to hear a perspective on the game, I’d prefer to hear it from Phil Simms than a sideline reporter.”
Maybe McManus has changed his mind about the usefulness of sideline reporters, or maybe the NFL urged CBS to add a sideline reporter to the Thursday night package, which Commissioner Roger Goodell has called a top priority for the league this season. Whatever the reasons, with CBS putting its No. 1 team on the air for big games both Thursdays and Sundays, NFL fans will be seeing a lot of Wolfson.