It’s rare that an announcer not reaching a deal with his employer becomes major news, but that just shows the massive appeal of Gus Johnson. SI’s Richard Deitsch reported that Gus is out at CBS after the two sides were unable to agree on a new contract. Not only is Gus out at CBS, but he also did not get the NFL Network play-by-play job many people expected him to land. Instead, that job went to Brad Nessler.
Deitsch reported that “industry sources said Johnson has spoken with Fox Sports about a role in its college football coverage,” so you may be able to hear him calling Pac-12 games in the future. The bad news for many fans is that we won’t be hearing Johnson during March Madness any longer. It was during the NCAA Tournament that Gus developed his following amongst viewers due to his enthusiastic announcing style.
I know this is going to sound sacrilege to my fellow bloggers and readers, but I’ve never been a big Gus Johnson fan. Part of the reason is because I felt people went way too overboard with their praise of him, but another bigger reason is because I felt like some of it was an act and not genuine. I used to hear Gus call Knicks games on the radio and he had very little enthusiasm and excitement during those games. For someone who was used to his energy, that was highly disappointing. So when I hear him losing his head on CBS doing football and March Madness, it seems to me like he’s just playing up for his national audience. Still, I’d much rather hear Gus do games than many other boring announcers. I’ll take that any day, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him land another gig quite soon.
UPDATE: The New York Daily News reports that Gus may not be out at CBS.
“According to an industry source Johnson, whose CBS contract expired after the Final Four, received a written offer from Fox earlier this week. The offer includes both NFL and Pac-12 football play-by-play roles. However Johnson’s reps have not presented the offer to CBS execs. When they do, probably next week, CBS will have one week to match or say adios to Johnson.”
Sounds like Gus’ agent/rep may have leaked the story to Deitsch at SI with the hope that there would be public outcry putting pressure on CBS to keep Gus. The good news for Johnson fans is this may not be a done deal.Google+