CBS WELCOMES HOME GUMBEL; WILL PREGAME BE BATTLE OF SEXES?
CBS Sports has hired Greg Gumbel and Phil Simms as its
No. 1 NFL broadcast team, according to Stephen Battaglio of
the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Gumbel's final appearance on NBC
will come this Sunday, when he calls the Heat-Knicks game.
He will join CBS on March 1, and serve as studio host for
its NCAA basketball coverage. Jim Nantz will anchor CBS'
NFL pregame show (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 1/30). CBS also
signed former NBC announcer Randy Cross, who will either
work games or be in the studio (Mike Bruton, PHILADELPHIA
DAILY NEWS, 1/30). CNN/SI's Peter King reported that CBS
"is trying to get" Cowboys FB Daryl Johnston and Chiefs RB
Marcus Allen "to retire and join their 1998 telecast team.
Allen is leaning toward TV; Johnston leaning toward playing
another year" ("CNN/SI," 1/29). In related news, NEWSDAY's
Steve Zipay writes that CBS Exec Producer Terry Ewert "isn't
ruling out any ideas" for the NFL pregame show, "including
hiring a woman." Zipay: "Ewert's intentions are intriguing
and serious -- industry sources said CBS pursued ESPN's
Bonnie Bernstein, but ESPN would not release her from her
contract, which has a year remaining" (NEWSDAY, 1/30).