Frank Nobilo Talks About Full-Time Move To CBS' Golf Coverage
Frank Nobilo will officially join CBS' PGA Tour coverage on a full-time basis in '20, a promotion that gives the analyst a chance to fully focus on live coverage after a decade-plus doing studio work at Golf Channel. Nobilo, whose role is still being finalized, had been balancing his Golf Channel duties with a part-time role at CBS over the past five seasons. "It was tough to try and go on both sides of the ship," he said. "You have to be out there on a regular basis because the game changes at such a great speed." Nobilo took THE DAILY through his expectations for the CBS role, whether he feels pressure over filling the void left by the departures of Peter Kostis and Gary McCord, and how he will look to improve the net's Tour coverage as the next round of media rights negotiations develop. Below are excerpts from the Q&A, some of which have been edited for clarity and brevity.
* Leaving Golf Channel: I try to think of it as opening another door rather than closing one. It was a great environment to learn studio work. I was lucky enough to work with my producer (Keith Hirshland). I still remember him saying, "If you've got something more important to say than the shot being hit, you should find another job." It took me a few weeks to figure that out, and I still think we break that rule way too often today. A viewer wants to see that shot. Our job is to fill in the gaps. ... It's bittersweet. There's a lot of people on the other side of the camera that never get seen. ... They know that they're a friendly face for the rest of my life.
* Details on his CBS role: What I'm led to believe is it's probably going to be the tower at this stage. Like a lot of the networks, everybody's concerned about the TV deals going forward. It would be wise of CBS or NBC or whoever else is going to cover it to be thinking about the way the viewer wants to hear golf being called. The game itself isn't changing. But now we have technology -- ProTracer, Trackman, all these other things -- that help the show. Do you stick with the old tower system? Or do you change it up? It will change, it will evolve. (CBS) is looking at their own golf coverage like everyone else is, and should be. ... It's going to be fun to go forward and try things.
* Pressure following Kostis and McCord: It's very tough to replace those people. You have to be different. You can't copy the way they did it. ... Nothing lasts forever. But I've been lucky enough to work alongside them. They served golf extremely well.
* Working with CBS producer Lance Barrow: Lance was one of the reasons I got involved with CBS five years ago. He has a different producing style, amazing memory. CBS is a different type of unit. There's a lot of laughter. There just seems to be a little less reverence in the truck, which is good. That's the more the way I was brought up. ... He and (NBC's) Tommy Roy have been the two best producers in golf for so long. I've been lucky enough to work for both of them. They're right on the money when the ball is in the air.
* Advice he would give to Michelle Wie as she enters broadcasting: She has the luxury, and it was a curse at the time, of being this teenage phenom. She didn't necessarily flame out, but the work ethic, the criticism, the compliments -- there was all of that, and yet she still managed to keep her feet on the ground. The way in which the game is today, it's so attractive and lucrative to a younger generation. She's a perfect link because people are going to fall prey to just about everything she's already experienced. She's still barely 30 years of age. That's a unique side she's going to bring. She has a vault of information that, should she care to share it, I think will be well-received.