SBD/May 9, 2011/Media

Down To The Wire: Gus Johnson Calls Reports Of CBS Departure "Premature"

Broadcaster Gus Johnson said reports of his departure from CBS after 16 years are "premature," according to Bob Raissman of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Johnson has an opportunity to join Fox to "work college and pro football." CBS officials, however, "can rise, and make a counter offer, or fire and say adios to Johnson." If Johnson does leave CBS, he would be "without a vehicle, March Madness, that turned him into one of the most recognizable voices in television sports." He said, "It's not just basketball, it's the NCAA Tournament. It's something I have to weigh. It's something that's on my mind. Basketball is my thing. If this does happen, and I do leave CBS, within a span of one year I would have left two places that have provided me the greatest opportunity, the greatest platform for basketball -- the Knicks and CBS. But to borrow an old Latrell Sprewell line, 'I've got to feed my family.'" But Raissman noted that "doesn't mean there won't be sadness if he winds up leaving CBS." Johnson said, "If there's change I'll have to accept that change." He suggested that this "might be the right time in his life to just work football." Johnson: "It seems I've been on the road every weekend for the last 20 years. Yes, maybe there is the potential for a new beginning" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/8). In Illinois, Jim Benson wrote under the header, "Johnson's Enthusiasm Would Be Missed At NCAA Tourney." Benson: "Some of the madness will go away from March without Johnson. CBS should make sure it doesn’t" (BLOOMINGTON PANTAGRAPH, 5/7).
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