Longtime CBS Golf Fixtures McCord, Kostis Not Returning In '20
Longtime golf analysts Gary McCord and Peter Kostis will not be part of CBS' PGA Tour coverage beginning in January, ending around three-decade runs for both. McCord has been with the network since '86 and Kostis since '92. CBS in a statement said, "They were both outstanding teammates and we thank them for their significant contributions throughout the years. We wish them both all the best." Kostis in a statement said, "I have been thinking quite a bit about requesting a reduced travel schedule, but CBS made my decision easier when they elected to not exercise the two-year option on my contract" (John Ourand, THE DAILY). GOLFWEEK's Geoff Shackelford noted both McCord and Kostis "faced expiring contracts that will not be renewed." McCord "handled multiple roles in his 33 years but was best known for calling action from the 16th hole tower along with various late night highlight shows alongside former CBS announcer David Feherty." Only Jim Nantz, who started in '85, has "enjoyed a longer uninterrupted stretch with the CBS golf crew." Meanwhile, Kostis has "served multiple broadcasting roles, most notably as CBS' primary on-course reporter where he has won an Emmy for super-slow motion break downs of player swings" (GOLFWEEK.com, 10/26). GOLF DIGEST's Joel Beall noted McCord "rose to prominence thanks to a colorful personality, one that occasionally got him into trouble, most notably earning a ban from broadcasting at the Masters" (GOLFDIGEST.com, 10/26).
ATTEMPT TO GET YOUNGER? CBS Sports Chair Sean McManus told McCord the network's golf coverage was getting "stale, and we want to go in a different direction." McCord said, "I am very surprised at what happened. Totally unexpected. I’ve been called a lot of things, but ‘stale’ is not one of them.” MORNING READ's Mike Purkey noted the 71-year-old McCord and the 72-year-old Kostis were the "two senior members of the CBS golf announce team." In this case, "'stale' might be a euphemism for 'old,' and therefore an excuse to practice a little passive-aggressive ageism" (MORNINGREAD.com, 10/27).
WHAT THEY'RE SAYIN': GOLF.com's weekly roundtable discusses the changes at CBS, with contributor Michael Bamberger noting it was "time for new blood 20 years ago," yet the "familiarity was comforting." Luke Kerr-Dineen: "With the ongoing courting of the PGA Tour ahead of its new rights deal, this was an important message from CBS to the powers that be. Things are getting freshened up for the better." Dylan Dethier notes he is "all for freshening up the broadcast," but only if it is an "actual improvement." Dethier: "I’ll remain open-minded, but this isn’t an automatic win" (GOLF.com, 10/28). Golf writer Ryan Ballengee tweeted, "Very curious where CBS is going in the future, and I'm also wondering if wholesale changes are coming to the network TV package. ... Who is gonna replace McCord and Kostis that kinda fit the CBS brand AND are seen as an improvement?" Golf blog No Laying Up: "Some new blood will be a nice change of pace but it’s still going to look and sound the same without wholesale changes. The overall impact on viewers here will be minimal" (TWITTER.com, 10/26).