CBS Shakes Up NFL Pregame Show: Tony Gonzalez Is In; Marino, Sharpe Out
CBS Sports is shaking up its NFL studio show, hiring the recently retired Tony Gonzalez and cutting Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe. CBS Sports Chair Sean McManus told THE DAILY that the network is in the process of hiring another analyst soon, but added that deal was not ready to be announced yet. McManus said that CBS had been pursuing Gonzalez for more than a year, telling the former All-Pro TE before the season that it was interested in hiring him as a studio analyst to join James Brown, Bill Cowher and Boomer Esiason on "The NFL Today." McManus negotiated the deal with Gonzalez' agent, CAA's Andy Elkin, as soon as the NFL season came to a close. "We believe he has all the attributes," McManus said. "He's got a real passion and enthusiasm for the NFL and has a way to express that passion and enthusiasm. It's impossible to teach likeability in a TV person. Tony has that." McManus said it was too soon to figure out what Gonzalez' role will be on the studio show. He will appear on "The NFL Today" and contribute to Showtime's "Inside the NFL" and CBS Sports Network's "That Other Pregame Show." To make room for Gonzalez, CBS opted to not renew the contracts for longtime analysts Marino and Sharpe. Marino had been with CBS for 12 years; Sharpe for 10. Both analysts are pursuing other professional opportunities, McManus said."That was a very difficult decision, partly because they are both outstanding individuals," McManus said. "Those were difficult calls to make, but they both took it extremely well."