In N.Y., Bob Raissman reports announcer Gus Johnson is "officially out at CBS and headed to Fox." A source last night said, "CBS declined to match Fox's offer. They let Johnson's people know today." A CBS source said that "not only money, but politics was an issue." Some CBS college basketball announcers reportedly "were not thrilled with Johnson's rise to March Madness' most popular voice" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/10). CBS in a statement said, "We were not able to reach an agreement with Gus. We wish him continued success" (THE DAILY).
STOP & SMELL THE ROSES: NBC earned an 8.5 rating and 14.5 million viewers for the race segment of Saturday's Kentucky Derby from 6:06-6:54pm ET, down 13.3% and 12.1%, respectively, from a 9.8 rating and 16.5 million viewers last year, which was the most-viewed Derby in 22 years. This year's 8.5 rating is the lowest for the race since an 8.4 rating for Barbaro's win in '06. The telecast was again popular among women, as 51% of viewers ages 18+ were women. Versus averaged 380,000 viewers for pre-race coverage from 11:00am-4:00pm, down from ESPN's pre-race coverage last year which averaged 1.2 million viewers. Versus also averaged 235,000 viewers for its coverage of the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, up 4% from the race last year when it aired on Bravo. Also, see the top 10 metered-markets for NBC's telecast (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).
CHATTING THEM UP: Golf Channel yesterday formally announced a new primetime series featuring CBS broadcaster David Feherty, which is currently in production and scheduled to debut the week of June 20. The 12-part series, entitled "Feherty," will feature interviews with individuals from sports, entertainment and politics. The show is the first original Golf Channel series created since the net became a member of the NBC Sports Group in January. Feherty also will serve as a contributing analyst during Golf Channel's "Live From" coverage (Golf Channel).
PLENTY OF CHANGES FOR HORNS: In Houston, David Barron reported the Univ. of Texas "will change radio affiliates this fall" in the city to ESPN Radio 97.5 Houston "after more than 15 years on" KILT-AM. The change "follows by several weeks" the announcement that Texas will launch a television network in partnership with ESPN, the Longhorn Network, "but is not believed to be related to that transaction." KILT is owned by CBS Radio (CHRON.com, 5/9).