Peter Kostis: Trying to raise awareness after battle with colon cancer; Get tested

My latest piece for Awful Announcing on Peter Kostis and the impact he is making after going public with his battle with colon cancer.

From the story:


The number that sticks with Peter Kostis now is 18, and it has nothing to do with golf.

As of last week, Kostis has been contacted by 18 people who found out they have colon cancer after getting tested because of the CBS golf analyst spreading the word about his battle with the disease.

“They all have a good prognosis,” Kostis said. “I feel good about that. It shows what kind of impact you can have.”

Kostis, 66, is walking the fairways again for CBS. He says he still isn’t completely back to 100 percent, but he is getting there.


Kostis downplays the notion of his celebrity status. However, as one of golf’s top instructors and a high-profile analyst for CBS, he was struck at the people he was able to reach in going public about his condition and message.

“I met a guy at Augusta, and I honestly unfortunately don’t even remember his name,” Kostis said. “He just grabbed me by the arm as I was walking out in front of the clubhouse. He goes, ‘I want to thank you for what you did for going public. I have stage 4 colon cancer.  It’s back and it’s spreading.  I don’t know what the prognosis is going to be, but the fact that you’ve beaten it is helping me hang in there and go through my treatments and stuff like that.’

“Yeah, there’s a lot of negative to being in the public eye, but they pale in comparison to the positives when you can do something like that.”

NFL on CBS: Expected better for Thursday night debut on network

With the NFL schedule coming out, everyone was interested to see what kind of games CBS got with its new early-season Thursday night package.

Frankly, I expected better, considering CBS busted up its Thursday night primetime package to air these games. I thought the NFL would give the network a blockbuster-type match-up to launch the series in week 2.

Instead, CBS will air Pittsburgh at Baltimore. Yes, it is an intense rivalry game, but both teams missed the playoffs last year and could be on the slide. It hardly is a “wow” game.


Here’s a breakdown of CBS’ Thursday night package:

Best games: Not really much that is overwhelming. Probably the best is San Diego at Denver in week 8. It has a couple other traditional rivalry games in Giants at Washington in week 4 and Minnesota at Green Bay in week 5. However, of those four teams, only Green Bay made the playoffs in 2014.

Potential Clunkers: I know every team has to play a Thursday game, but Tampa Bay at Atlanta in week 3 doesn’t seem to worthy of primetime so early in the season. Indianapolis is at Houston in week 6, meaning CBS is rooting for the Texans to draft Johnny Manziel.

The Jets at New England probably will do a decent rating, but the Rex Ryan’s dysfunctional team doesn’t do much for me.

Here is a breakdown of CBS’ regular-season package.

Best games: Naturally, CBS will ride the Peyton Manning train with its first two doubleheader weekends: KC at Denver in week 2 and then a Super Bowl rematch with Denver at Seattle in week 3.

In week 9, it has another installment of Brady vs. Manning with Denver at New England. Also like Patriots at Green Bay in week 13.

Potential clunkers: Indy-Pittsburgh is slated for the doubleheader window in week 8. Never know how those teams will fare. In week 16, Indianapolis at Dallas is the showcase game for now. Obviously, that could change.

Note: Interesting to note that there is a new “cross flex” option this year, giving the NFL the flexibility to put a NFC game on CBS and visa versa for AFC and Fox. The idea is to better balance the distribution of quality games between CBS and Fox.

As a result, on Thanksgiving, CBS will air Chicago-Detroit. Philadelphia at Dallas will be on Fox.







First words uttered by Jim Nantz’s new baby? ‘Hello, friends’

OK, maybe that’s down the line a bit.

However, I know Jim and Courtney Nantz said “Hello friend” upon meeting Finley Cathleen Nantz on Saturday.

Nantz missed the Big Ten tournament, but will be back for the first round of the NCAA tournament and then the Masters.

Nantz’s favorite time of year just got a million times better.

Congratulations to Jim and Courtney.


Let the Madness begin: Your announce teams for opening week of tournament

Here are your new best friends for this week.


CBS Sports and Turner Sports’ exclusive coverage of the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship will tip off with the NCAA First Four™ on truTV presented by Northwestern Mutual on Tuesday, March 18 and Wednesday, March 19 (6:00 PM, ET; both days). Second round game coverage will begin Thursday, March 20 and Friday, March 21 (12:00 NOON-Midnight; both days) with all games available live in their entirety across four national television networks – TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV. Additionally, truTV will televise a one-hour pregame show Thursday and Friday at 11:00 AM, ET.

Brian Anderson and Dan Bonner will call Tuesday’s First Four games with reporter Kristine LeahyKevin Harlan will team with analysts Len Elmore and Reggie Miller and reporter Rachel Nichols for Wednesday’s games. Studio coverage for the First Four will originate from Atlanta with Matt Winer hosting alongside analysts Seth Davis, Grant Hill and Steve Smith both days.

Following are the tip times for the First Four games, as well as the commentator assignments for the second round games. Tip times for the third round games on Saturday will be announced on Thursday after the conclusion of the day’s games. Sunday’s tip times will be released after the conclusion of play on Friday.

The Final Four on Saturday, April 5 will be televised on TBS for the first time along with “teamcasts” or team-specific telecasts airing on TNT and truTV.  The National Championship Game on Monday, April 7 will air on CBS for the 33rd consecutive year.


First Round Games

Tuesday, March 18


Tip (ET)






6:40 p.m. truTV Dayton I Albany vs. Mount St. Mary’s Brian Anderson/Dan Bonner//Kristine Leahy
        Rodney Vaughn/Chris Svendsen
After conc. I truTV Dayton II North Carolina State vs. Xavier Anderson/Bonner//Leahy

First Round Games

Wednesday, March 19

6:40 p.m. truTV Dayton I Cal Poly vs. Texas Southern Kevin Harlan/Len Elmore/Reggie Miller//Rachel Nichols
After conc. I truTV Dayton II Iowa vs. Tennessee Harlan/Elmore/Miller/Nichols

Second Round Games

Thursday Afternoon, March 20 (NOON-6:00 PM, ET)


Tip (ET)






12:15 p.m. CBS Buffalo I Ohio State vs. Dayton Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery//Allie LaForce
        Bob Mansbach/Suzanne Smith
12:40 p.m. truTV Milwaukee I Wisconsin vs. American Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel//Lewis Johnson
        Ken Mack/Jim Cornell
1:40 p.m. TBS Orlando I Colorado vs. Pittsburgh Anderson/Bonner//Leahy
        Jonathan Segal/Renardo Lowe
2:10 p.m. TNT Spokane I Cincinnati vs. Harvard Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb//Jaime Maggio
        Ryan Galvin/Mark Grant
After conc. I CBS Buffalo II Syracuse vs. Western Michigan Lundquist/ Raftery// LaForce
After conc. I truTV Milwaukee II Oregon vs. BYU Eagle/Spanarkel// Johnson
After conc. I TBS Orlando II Florida vs. Albany/Mount St. Mary’s Anderson/Bonner//Leahy
        Segal/Renardo Lowe
After conc. I TNT Spokane II Michigan State vs. Delaware Dedes/Gottlieb//Maggio


Second Round Games

Thursday Evening, March 20 (6:30 PM, ET-Midnight)

(Announce Teams Same as Day Games)


Tip (ET)






6:55 p.m. TBS Buffalo III Connecticut vs.

Saint Joseph’s

Lundquist/ Raftery// LaForce
7:10 p.m. CBS Milwaukee III Michigan vs. Wofford Eagle/Spanarkel// Johnson
7:20 p.m. TNT Orlando III St. Louis vs.

N.C. State/Xavier

7:27 p.m. truTV Spokane III Oklahoma vs.

North Dakota State

After conc. III TBS Buffalo IV Villanova vs. Milwaukee Lundquist/ Raftery// LaForce
After conc. III CBS Milwaukee IV Texas vs. Arizona State Eagle/Spanarkel// Johnson
After conc. III TNT Orlando IV Louisville vs. Manhattan Anderson/Bonner//Leahy
        Segal/ Lowe
After conc. III truTV Spokane IV San Diego State vs. New Mexico State Dedes/Gottlieb//Maggio


Second Round Games

Friday Afternoon, March 21 (NOON-6:00 PM, ET)


Tip (ET)






12:15 p.m. CBS Raleigh I Duke vs. Mercer Harlan/Elmore/Miller/Nichols
        Craig Silver/Mike Arnold
12:40 p.m. truTV San Antonio I Baylor vs. Nebraska Marv Albert/Steve Kerr//Craig Sager
        Scott Cockerill/Lonnie Dale
1:40 p.m. TBS St. Louis I New Mexico vs. Stanford Jim Nantz/Greg Anthony//Tracy Wolfson
        Mark Wolff/Bob Fishman
2:10 p.m. TNT San Diego I Arizona vs. Weber State Andrew Catalon/Mike Gminski//Otis Livingston
        Vic Frank/Andy Goldberg
After conc. I CBS Raleigh II Massachusetts vs. Iowa/Tennessee Harlan/Elmore/Miller/Nichols

After conc. I




San Antonio II


Creighton vs. La. Lafayette




After conc. I TBS St. Louis II Kansas vs. Eastern Kentucky Nantz/Anthony//Wolfson
After conc. I TNT San Diego II Gonzaga vs. Oklahoma State Catalon/Gminski//Livingston


Second Round Games

Friday Evening, March 21 (6:30 PM, ET-Midnight)

(Announce Teams Same as Day Games)

Tip (ET)






6:55 p.m. TBS Raleigh III Memphis vs. George Washington Harlan/Elmore/Miller/Nichols
7:10 p.m. CBS St. Louis III Wichita State vs.

Cal Poly/Texas Southern

7:20 p.m. TNT San Antonio III North Carolina vs. Providence Albert/Kerr//Sager
7:27 p.m. truTV San Diego III VCU vs.

Stephen F. Austin

After conc. III TBS Raleigh IV Virginia vs.

Coastal Carolina

After conc. III CBS St. Louis IV Kentucky vs. Kansas State Nantz/Anthony//Wolfson
After conc. III TNT San Antonio IV Iowa State vs.

N.C. Central

After conc. III truTV San Diego IV UCLA vs. Tulsa Catalon/Gminski//Livingston

Q/A with Sean McManus on NFL Thursday night package: Expects strong lineup for CBS games; No. 1 priority for network

It is raining at Pebble Beach today, where Sean McManus is on hand for this week’s coverage of the AT&T Pro-Am. However, his mood couldn’t be brighter the day after CBS landed the NFL’s new eight-game package of Thursday night games.

Here’s my Q/A with the CBS Sports chairman on the deal:

What is your understanding about the quality of the eight Thursday games that will be on CBS?

I’ve been working with the NFL for 16 years, and they always figure out a way to give all the networks a number of high quality games. That’s why the ratings are increasing across the board. When the NFL (added Sunday night games on NBC), they understood the importance of getting off to a good start. They understand the importance of having good quality games to launch this schedule on Thursday nights.

Every team will play a Thursday game. Is it safe to assume CBS won’t get a game featuring a struggling team like Jacksonville?

We’ve got a good understanding we’re going to get a slate of games worthy of primetime. Other than that, it is in the hands of Howard Katz (and the NFL scheduling team).

Why was it important for the NFL to have Jim Nantz and Phil Simms call the entire package of Thursday night games?

It was clear when they started to talk to us, it was of primary importance to them to have A talent and an A production team do these games. We weren’t sure what the other networks thought, but if we wanted to be leaders in the clubhouse, we had to commit to Jim and Phil doing these games.

What will be their schedule regarding Sunday games?

Jim and Phil still will do most of the big doubleheader games. But to be honest with you, their primary focus will be Thursday night football. I don’t want to diminish our Sunday package. It’s very important to us. However, to launch Thursday nights successfully, this is our No. 1 priority.

CBS is No. 1 in primetime. Why was it important for the network to land this package?

Getting the Thursday night package is as high a priority for CBS as I can recall in recent memory. It was enormous for my boss, (CBS CBS President & CEO Les Moonves). He was involved in every meeting with the NFL and on most of the calls. If the head of the company says this is the highest priority, it sends a message to the NFL.

The NFL dominates the ratings. Even though we dominate in primetime, the thought of someone else programming the NFL (against CBS on Thursday night) was not an attractive proposition for us.

With the retirement of Dan Dierdorf, what are your thoughts on a new No. 2 team, which will be the defacto No. 1 on the weeks Nantz and Phil are off?

We haven’t crossed that bridge yet. We have some initial thoughts. The good news is that we’re stocked with terrific play-by-play men in (Ian Eagle, Greg Gumbel, Kevin Harlan and Marv Albert). In a practical sense, on most single-header weekends, there’s not a big difference in the distribution of the games. But we will have a pecking order.

This deal only is for one year with an NFL option. Did CBS push for a longer deal?

You always would like a longer contract. This is the first year. While we all assume it is going to be successful, there are no guarantees. This was their condition to sell us the property. A short-term deal is a whole lot better than no deal at all.







Breaking news: CBS lands 8 Thursday NFL games for 2014; Nantz, Simms on call

And the winner is…CBS.


The National Football League will team with long-time broadcast partner CBS to produce and televise Thursday Night Football for the 2014 season, it was announced today by NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL and LESLIE MOONVES, president and CEO of CBS Corp., and SEAN McMANUS, Chairman, CBS Sports.

CBS will air eight early season games that also will be simulcast on NFL Network. NFL Network will also televise eight late-season games in the run-up to the playoffs. The mix of games will include 14 on Thursday nights and two late-season games on Saturday.

The full slate of 16 regular-season games will be produced by CBS with its lead broadcasters and production team, including JIM NANTZ and PHIL SIMMS, on all Thursday night games. In a new twist, NFL Network hosts and analysts will be featured in the pregame, halftime and postgame shows along with CBS Sports announcers.

The agreement is for the 2014 season with an additional year at the NFL’s option.

“NFL Network built Thursday into a night for NFL fans,” said Commissioner Goodell. “Our goal is to bring these games to more fans on broadcast television with unprecedented promotion and visibility for Thursday Night Football on CBS.”

“We are very pleased to build on our outstanding partnership with the NFL by expanding our coverage to Thursday nights,” said Moonves. “CBS is a premium content company and the NFL represents the best premium content there is. I look forward to all this new deal will do for us not only on Thursday nights, but across our entire schedule.”

“The NFL is the most powerful programming in television,” said McManus. “To add a primetime NFL package to our successful Sunday AFC package further strengthens our position in the sports marketplace.  We look forward to having Jim and Phil and our top production team showcased in prime time on Thursday nights.”

Tim Brando leaving CBS; was on network for 18 years

Tim Brando posted this on his Facebook page:


After 18 years at CBS and 16 years as the Host of College Football Today, I am leaving CBS Sports. I will no longer be the Host of College Football Today or provide play by play services for their golf, football or basketball coverage. This news comes on the heels of my announcement that the Tim Brando Show will not be returning to CBS Sports Network.

It was truly a privilege to cover The SEC on CBS, The Road to the Final Four, and more recently The Masters for and The PGA and Champions Tour. It was an honor working there. I am looking forward to new opportunities and making many exciting new memories covering sports. I greatly appreciate all the love and support from my loyal fans! Please stay tuned to this page, as we will post news as it becomes available! Don’t forget- you can ALWAYS listen to the show from 8-11am CT on SiriusXM College Sports Nation, channel 91. Thanks for your continued support- Timmy B.

CBS Sports Network to simulcast WFAN’s Boomer & Carton morning show

Some national exposure for Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton’s show. And some morning programming for CBS Sports Network.

The official rundown.


CBS announced today that beginning January 2014 CBS Sports Network will simulcast “Boomer & Carton,” the popular morning show broadcast on CBS RADIO’s WFAN-AM/FM.  Combining these two powerful assets within CBS will result in national exposure for the local radio program and premier weekday content for the 24-hour cable home of CBS Sports.  The four-hour morning show is hosted by NFL ON CBS studio analyst Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton live Monday-Friday from 6:00-10:00 AM, ET.

“Boomer & Carton” debuted on Sept. 4, 2007, and features local sports talk, news headlines, and interviews with current and former sports icons, league personnel, and a variety of national celebrities from the entertainment and music industries.  The show originates from CBS RADIO’s WFAN studio in New York City.

“The addition of the “Boomer and Carton” show significantly enhances our on-air line-up adding hours of live and relevant programming to CBS Sports Network each morning,” said Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports. “It is great to be able to welcome one of the nation’s top sports talk radio shows to the Networks of CBS Sports.”

“Boomer and Carton have created one of the industry’s best sports talk programs that captures all the drama and excitement of New York sports,” said Dan Mason, President and CEO, CBS RADIO.  “Together we look forward to presenting the show to the CBS Sports Network audience of enthusiastic sports fans.”

CBS Sports Network is available across the country to more than 99 million homes through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite on DIRECTV Channel 221 and DISH Network Channel 158.  The Network is widely available throughout the New York metropolitan area on Time Warner Cable channel 457 (SD) and 467 (HD); Cablevision channel 143 or 412 (SD) and 793 (HD); Comcast channel 183 or 274 or 732 (SD) and 854 or 1721 (HD); Verizon FiOS channel 94; AT&T U-Verse channel 643 (SD) and 1643 (HD); RCN channel 380 (SD) and 575 (HD); Mediacom channel 171 (SD) and 762 (HD); Service Electric TV channel 114 or 176 (SD) and 614 or 676 (HD); and Blue Ridge Cable TV channel 204 (SD) and 629 (HD).  For more information, including a full programming schedule, go to

Esiason, who quarterbacked the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals during a 14-year NFL career, joined CBS Sports in February 2002 as a studio analyst for THE NFL TODAY, the CBS Television Network’s NFL pre-game show.  In addition to hosting WFAN-AM/FM New York’s morning program, Esiason can be heard providing commentary on CBS Sports Radio as part of the network’s “CBS Sports Minute” feature, and calls Monday Night Football, Playoff and Super Bowl broadcasts for WestwoodOne.

The four-time Pro Bowl selection was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1988 and awarded the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 1995 for his philanthropic work.  He has raised in excess of $100 million for the Boomer Esiason Foundation to fight cystic fibrosis since 1993, when his son was diagnosed with the disease.

Radio veteran Carton, who interned at WFAN during college, has spent more than 20 years in the broadcast industry working for various stations around the country, including notable stops in Buffalo, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Denver, New York and New Jersey, before coming full-circle and returning to his hometown to co-host WFAN’s morning show.

During the course of his seasoned radio career he has been recognized by numerous publications including the National Association of Broadcasters, Cynopsis, Philadelphia magazine and Talkers, as well as ranking on’s Power List of New Jersey’s most politically influential personalities, during his time hosting afternoons at NJ 101.5.  Carton serves as the voice of the passionate New York sports fan, while providing comic relief, and getting behind some of the biggest sports stories in the tri-state area.  In 2013, he released his first book, Loudmouth.



Nov. 22, 1963: Lundquist never got to hear Kennedy speak in Austin; his memories

It loomed as a memorable day for Verne Lundquist when he went to work at an Austin, Tex. TV station on Nov. 22, 1963. He was looking forward to seeing President John F. Kennedy speak later that day in town.

Fifty years later, Lundquist remembers vividly how his day and the nation’s suddenly changed.

“I was on an earlier shift, working the board,” Lundquist said. “I had been invited by a good friend of mine to hear Kennedy speak. Her dad was the general manager of the station, and he gave me permission to not do the show that night so I could take her to hear the president’s speech.

“I was on the phone with her 12:25 p.m. (going over the details), when the news anchor broke into the control room and said, ‘Give me the microphone. The President has been shot.’ That’s how I heard about it.”

Then Lundquist recalled things got surreal.

“I swear to God, within an hour, we had secret service people blanketing the building. Nobody knew at the time if there was some kind of coup going on. Because the president was destined to come to Austin, and because (Lyndon Johnson) owned the only station in town, they were all over the building just in case.”

Only 23 at the time, Lundquist suddenly found himself assisting in CBS’ coverage. He was assigned to drive around a network correspondent to Johnson’s home town of Johnson City.

“We spent 8 or 9 hours there collecting information on the new president,” Lundquist said. “Television was in its infancy back then. The idea of going live (from a remote location) was not that easy. It required land lines. We shot all the film, and then they flew it back on an overnight flight to New York to so they could use it over the weekend.”

Looking back, Lundquist said, “I was a witness to history, absolutely.”

There are a couple of postscripts, he said.

“You remember Pete Rozelle allowed the NFL to play games on that Sunday (following the assassination,” Lundquist said. “Well, on the following Friday night, I was on the sidelines with my 16 mm. camera covering state high school football playoff game. The juxtaposition of priorities was really extraordinary.”

Once Johnson settled in as president, Lundquist received an unexpected education from some of the top journalists in the business.

“When Johnson would come home for the summer, the White House press corps would stay in Austin,” Lundquist said. “There was a hangout that they all went to in town. I was 24-years-old and I got to mingle and meet these guys. Here I was having a beer with George Herman. I was in their world. To sit and listen at the feet of those fellas is something I’ll treasure for the rest of my life.”




Wild Sunday: Chicago CBS affiliate has to balance coverage of tornadoes, Bears game

I wrote about the difficult balancing act for WBBM-Ch. 2 in today’s Chicago Tribune.

Tornadoes already had hit in Central Illinois, and with the threat of severe weather looming at Soldier Field and elsewhere in the area, Ch. 2 had to inform the public of a potentially dangerous situation. As a result, we missed of NFL Today for weather coverage.

However, shortly after noon, Ch. 2 switched to the game. Bears fans wanted to hear from Jim Nantz, not weatherman Ed Curran. You can’t pre-empt a Bears game here. Ch. 2’s switchboard would have exploded.

From the story:

“Certainly, a Bears game is a big event for Chicago. It’s a big event for WBBM,” said Jeff Kiernan, station vice president and news director. “But you have to make tough decisions. Public safety and information is our No. 1 priority. There’s nothing more important than informing viewers of a dangerous and threatening situation.”

Channel 2, though, did not pre-empt coverage of the game. It joined CBS and Nantz just as the Bears’ Devin Hester grabbed the opening kickoff in the end zone. The station provided weather updates coming out of commercials until play was suspended late in the first quarter.

Outside of the Super Bowl, Bears games deliver the highest local ratings of the year for the networks. Channel 2, the CBS affiliate in Chicago, only gets two shots at the Bears this year; it had the season opener against the Bengals. Under the NFL television contract, CBS has the rights for Sunday afternoon inter-conference games when the AFC team is the visitor.

“We found balance (after the opening kickoff),” Kiernan said. “We showed the game, but we also were able to communicate critical information through the updates and the on-screen crawls.”