Behind the Mic: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Joins NBC’s NASCAR Team; Andrea Kremer Re-Ups With HBO Sports

Behind the Mic provides a roundup of recent news regarding on-air talent, including new deals, departures, and assignments compiled from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will join NBC Sports Group’s NASCAR coverage, HBO Sports enters into new multi-year agreement with Andrea Kremer, ESPN signs former college football head coach Tommy Tuberville, ESPN NFL analyst Mark Schlereth leaves for FS1, and more. 

Dale Earnhardt Jr., voted by fans as NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver for an unprecedented 14 consecutive years (2003-16), will join NBC Sports Group’s NASCAR coverage beginning in 2018. Earnhardt will be utilized in a number of capacities on NBC’s NASCAR coverage, with specifics to be announced in the coming months. In addition, the agreement with NBCUniversal allows Earnhardt a wide range of opportunities in the company’s media businesses, including movies, television, podcasts, and other areas. NBC is also partnering with Earnhardt on some of his other businesses, including Dirty Mo Media and Hammerhead Entertainment.  Earnhardt is a third-generation driver in a family forever connected to the sport of stock-car racing. The native of Kannapolis, North Carolina, has amassed 26 career victories, including the 2004 and 2014 Daytona 500. His 26 victories tie him for 29th on NASCAR’s all-time race winners list. His father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., won seven Cup titles and 76 Cup races in his storied career (NBC Sports)….

…HBO Sports has entered into a new multi-year agreement with sports journalist Andrea Kremer, who for 10 years, has reported for HBO’s series REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL. Kremer joined REAL SPORTS in May 2007 and has reported 40 stories for the series. During her decade with REAL SPORTS, Kremer has continuously delivered some of the biggest names including her interview with former MLB star Gary Sheffield in 2007, the exclusive 2010 interview with then-new head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, Pete Carroll, and her 2012 interview with the private NBA savant Phil Jackson prior to his coming to the New York Knicks. Kremer has investigated controversial topics such as the use of the pain-numbing drug Toradol in the NFL and the complexities of student-athletes receiving benefits prohibited by the NCAA. In 2012, the award-winning journalist joined the NFL Network to serve as a chief correspondent and also co-hosts CBS Sports all female sports talk show, We Need to Talk. She continues to cover wide-ranging topics in that capacity with a special focus on player health and safety. Kremer is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.(HBO Sports)…

…ESPN has signed former college football head coach Tommy Tuberville. With 159 victories in more than 20 seasons, including an undefeated season, five SEC Championship game appearances, multiple Coach of the Year awards and an American Athletic Conference Championship, Tuberville brings an experienced coach’s viewpoint to the booth. Tuberville will call games each week across ESPN or ABC with his broadcast partners to be named soon. Tuberville comes to ESPN straight off the sidelines, most recently as Cincinnati’s head coach (2013-16). Prior to Cincinnati, Tuberville coached at Ole Miss (1995-98) and Auburn (1999-08), where he amassed 85 wins in 10 years with the Tigers, including going 13-0 in 2004 and finishing ranked No. 2 in the AP Poll. In 2010, he became coach of Texas Tech (2010-12) before heading to the Bearcats. His first college job was with Arkansas State (1980-84) before heading to Miami (1986-93) where he was part of a coaching staff that won three national championships. He would then be the defensive coordinator at Texas A&M (1994) before becoming a head coach. (ESPN)…

…Longtime ESPN NFL analyst Mark Schlereth is now joining rival FS1. The three-time Super Bowl champion lineman made his FS1 debut Tuesday morning alongside Skip Bayless, ex-Broncos teammate Shannon Sharpe and Joy Taylor on “Undisputed.” His move to FS1 from ESPN has been in the works for months, according to Sporting News’ Michael McCarthy. Schlereth has worked as an NFL analyst at ESPN since 2001, appearing on “NFL Live,” “SportsCenter,” “Mike & Mike in the Morning” and other shows. According to McCarthy, expiring at ESPN the same time the network was looking to shed 100 on-air talents/reporters. ESPN informed Schlereth his contract was not going to be renewed, freeing him to move cross-country to FS1 (Sporting News)….

…Former Red Sox player Jonny Gomes will serve as a guest studio analyst on NESN’s pre and post-game shows during this week’s 4-game series against the Blue Jays. Gomes played parts of 13 seasons in the big leagues including the memorable 2013 season with the Boston Red Sox, his first season with the team. He hit a big 3-run home run in game 4 of the World Series. He was a career .242 hitter and slugged 162 home runs. He ended his player career in 2016 with a brief stint playing for the GiaTohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan (NESN)…

…Fox Sports has announced its lineup of announcers, analysts, hosts and reporters set to cover the network’s college football schedule when the season kicks off next month. Play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson and analyst Joel Klatt return for their third season in the booth as Fox Sports’ lead college football voices and are joined by sideline reporter Jenny Taft. Also back in the booth are play-by-play announcer Joe Davis and analyst Brady Quinn, this season joined by sideline reporter Bruce Feldman. Play-by-play announcer Tim Brando and analyst Spencer Tillman also return in 2017 and are joined on the sidelines by Holly Sonders. Sonders has been a mainstay on the network’s golf coverage for the past three years and has also served as a sideline reporter for select NFL broadcasts. Host Rob Stone is in studio for pregame, halftime and postgame coverage on Fox and FS1, once again joined by analysts Matt Leinart, a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at USC and member of the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017; Robert Smith, a standout running back and track athlete at Ohio State before enjoying a successful NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings; and Dave Wannstedt a former college and NFL championship coach. Mike Pereira and Dean Blandino serve as rules experts (Fox Sports)..

…SEC Saturday Night will have a new broadcasting team this season. Former SEC starting quarterback Jordan Rodgers and offensive lineman Cole Cubelic, both who were team captains, will be the analysts, with Rodgers in the booth and Cubelic at field level. Familiar SEC voice Tom Hart will call the play-by-play each week. The trio takes over for Brent Musburger, Jesse Palmer, and Kaylee Hartung who called games for the franchise last season. Rodgers moves to a regular game analyst position following a successful first year with SEC Network. Rodgers will continue to appear on SEC Now throughout the season in addition to other SEC Network and ESPN programming and platforms. Hart and Cubelic join SEC Saturday Night with a wealth of college football broadcast experience, most notably with SEC Network since its launch in August 2014.  After spending their first two seasons with other broadcast partners, Hart and Cubelic called games together throughout the 2016 season. Throughout their careers, the two have worked games in nearly every single SEC stadium. Prior to SEC Network, Hart and Cubelic called college football games on a variety of ESPN’s networks (ESPN)….

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