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.

 … Continue Reading

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

Here are your new best friends for this week.

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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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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

And the winner is…CBS.

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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 … Continue Reading

Tim Brando leaving CBS; was on network for 18 years

Tim Brando posted this on his Facebook page:

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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 Masters.com 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! … Continue Reading

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.

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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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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

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NBC, football fans: Thank CBS for gift of Denver-Kansas City in primetime Sunday

If not for a gracious move by CBS, most of the country wouldn’t have seen Denver-Kansas City Sunday.

Under the flex scheduling provisions, both CBS and Fox can protect five games from their inventory. The set-up prevents the NFL from moving those attractive games to Sunday night for NBC.

Note: Technically, it is the NFL, not NBC, that elects to flex games, although you can be sure the Peacocks make their feelings known.

CBS reportedly protected both of the Denver-Kansas City games, including Sunday’s contest in Denver. However, the network doesn’t have the doubleheader window this week. Fox does with San Francisco-New Orleans.

As a result, if CBS kept this week’s big game, which was scheduled for the late window, it would have aired in a limited number of markets beyond Denver and Kansas City. Most of the country wouldn’t … Continue Reading

Nick Saban on 60 Minutes: Armen Keteyian gets inside access to Alabama coach

Nick Saban and Alabama get the treatment from 60 Minutes tonight. Here’s a preview.

The rundown from CBS:

The best investment the University of Alabama ever made was the hiring of a football coach who delivered a team that has won three of the last four national championships.  So says Dr. Robert Witt, chancellor of the University of Alabama about Nick Saban, who created a football dynasty in Tuscaloosa, Ala. in just a handful of years under a contract that pays him more than $5.5 million a year.  Armen Keteyian gets to see up close how Saban managed this feat, as he profiles the famous Crimson Tide coach and takes cameras into his practices and coaches meetings.  Saban’s profile will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES, Sunday, Nov. 3(7:30PM, ET/7:00PM PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Keteyian speaks to Dr. … Continue Reading