Behind the Mic: Mike Tirico Takes Over Notre Dame Play-by-Play for NBC; SiriusXM Signs Steve Spurrier

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, Mike Tirico will take over play-by-play for NBC’s Notre Dame Football coverage, Steve Spurrier joins SiriusXM’s team of college football analysts, ESPN college-football analyst Jesse Palmer has signed on to also host DailyMailTV, Len Dawson is calling it a career with the Chief Radio Network, John Clayton is joining the Seattle Seahawks broadcast team as a sideline reporter, and more…

Mike Tirico, NBC Sports Group’s veteran play-by-play commentator and Olympic primetime host, will join NBC Sports’ Notre Dame Football coverage this season as its play-by-play voice. Tirico will be joined by analyst Doug Flutie, who returns for his third season, and sideline reporter Kathryn Tappen, who returns for her fourth season. Tirico called three Notre Dame Football games on NBC last season, while Dan Hicks was on assignment covering the PGA TOUR’S FedExCup Playoffs. Tirico joined NBC Sports Group in July 2016 to work on an array of high-profile properties, including the Olympics, NFL, horse racing, golf, Notre Dame Football, and other big events.

…SiriusXM has announced that Steve Spurrier, who won the 1966 Heisman Trophy as the University of Florida’s quarterback and the 1996 National Championship coaching his alma mater, will join SiriusXM as a college football analyst. Starting August 15, Spurrier will appear three times per week on SiriusXM College Sports Nation (channel 84 on satellite radios and the SiriusXM app).  Throughout the season he will be heard every Tuesday from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm ET with hosts Chris Childers and Rick Neuheisel, every Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:00 pm ET with Mark Packer, and every Thursday from 8:00 to 9:00 am ET with Greg McElroy and Taylor Zarzour. Spurrier played quarterback at the University of Florida, where he won the Heisman Trophy and was a two-time All-American. Spurrier was drafted in the first round of the 1967 NFL Draft and played ten years in the league. After his playing career, Spurrier was the head coach of Duke University (1987-1989), the University of Florida (1990-2001), the Washington Redskins (2002-2003) and the University of South Carolina (2005-2015)…

Chris Simms joins NBC Sports’ Notre Dame Football coverage as a studio analyst for the 2017 season. Simms previously served as a football analyst for FOX Sports and CBS. He played at the University of Texas from 1999-2002, and for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos from 2003-2010. Simms will provide on-site studio commentary alongside host Liam McHugh, who returns for his seventh season anchoring NBC’s studio coverage of Notre Dame Football. In addition to his work on Notre Dame Football, Simms will also serve as a co-host on Mike Florio’s daily PFT Live show.

…NESN has hired Alex Kraemer as its new Bruins rinkside reporter. She will also serve as a reporter/host and deliver regular reports for NESN’s three sports news programs NESN Sports TodayNESN Sports Update and NESN LiveKraemer comes to NESN after serving as the in-arena host for the Philadelphia Flyers the past two seasons and the in-stadium host for New York City FC of Major League Soccer this summer. She also served as the host of a web series called Run it Back for Whistle Sports…

Jesse Palmer has signed on to host DailyMailTV, an upcoming daily syndicated series. Palmer joins the series from ABC News where he is a special contributor for Good Morning America. He is also an analyst for ESPN, a role he will continue while hosting DailyMailTV. The former University of Florida quarterback joined the network after five seasons in the NFL. ESPN signed Palmer to a new contract earlier this year, as the former Florida Gator quarterback shifts to being a regular studio analyst this season after calling ESPN’s Thursday night prime time game for nearly a decade and SEC Saturday Night on SEC Network for the previous three years. (Variety)…

…The Chiefs and Chiefs Radio Network has announced that this will be Len Dawson’s final year as a broadcaster for the team. Dawson, 82, is entering his 33rd year with the network. This season, he’ll contribute pre-produced segments and live pregame analysis leading up to kickoff. Former Chiefs long snapper Kendall Gammon, who worked as an analyst for road games last year, will be the analyst for all Chiefs games. Dawson’s on-air career started in 1966, in the middle of his playing career, working for KMBC-TV Channel 9 as the station’s first sports anchor. In 1978, three years after he retired after a 19-year playing career as the Chiefs quarterback, Dawson became host of HBO’s Inside the NFL, the league’s first weekly highlights show and the first NFL-related program to appear on cable. Dawson remained with the program until 2001, and also spent six years as a game analyst for NBC Sports. In 1984, Dawson joined the Chiefs Radio Network as a color commentator, and two years later he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Kansas City Star)…

John Clayton, former ESPN personality who was recently let go by ESPN, is joining the Seattle Seahawks broadcast team as a sideline reporter. The team announced the move Tuesday. Clayton, also known as “The Professor,” has been a fixture on NFL sidelines for years while working as an insider for ESPN, writing and reporting on the latest happenings around the league. In addition to working the sidelines on game days, Clayton will host a daily show from 10 a.m. to noon on 710 ESPN Seattle and another show from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday’s (The Oregonian)…

…Three-time Women’s Rugby World Cup participant and USA Rugby Player of the Decade Phaidra Knight served as a studio analyst for NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup. Knight was a 12-year member of the USA Rugby Women’s Eagles with 33 international caps, and participated in three Women’s Rugby World Cups (2002, 2006, and 2010). She won All-World Team honors in two World Cups, and was named USA Rugby Player of the Decade in 2010. Knight served as a coach for Princeton University’s Women’s Rugby program in 2016, and was named coach of the Women’s Rugby program at Monroe College this year. Knight provided commentary throughout NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup, which took place in Ireland this month.

In addition, former Aviva Premiership Rugby and England international prop Alex Corbisiero will return as a studio analyst for NBC Sports Group’s Premiership Rugby coverage, beginning in September. Corbisiero played seven-plus seasons split between London Irish and Northampton Saints, and was a member of the Saints cub that won the Premiership Rugby title in 2014…

…ESPN has announced that it has re-signed senior writer Seth Wickersham to a new extension and hired Joel Anderson and Phil Steele. All three journalists will contribute across ESPN linear, digital and radio platforms, just in time for the upcoming football season.

ESPN senior writer Seth Wickersham will continue his investigative reporting for ESPN The Magazine and, for which he has written since graduating from the University of Missouri in 2000. In addition to appearing in print and online, his work is often featured on Outside the Lines, SportsCenter, NFL Live, The Ryen Russillo Show, and E:60Joel Anderson joins ESPN from BuzzFeed News as a senior writer, covering college football and college basketball.  Phil Steele also joins ESPN full time as a reporter and analyst after contributing to ESPN Insider and ESPN The Magazine for the past several years, covering college football and sports betting. As a premiere voice in college football coverage, Steele has been producing what is commonly referred to as “the bible of college football” for the last 23 years and the go-to source for all things college football, the Phil Steele College Football Preview

…Former Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and Illinois offensive lineman David Diehl have joined CBS Sports Network as college analysts. Former Washington State Cougars safety Erik Coleman also joins the CBS Sports Network team as a sideline reporter. Carter Blackburn, analyst Aaron Taylor and reporter Jenny Dell return as CBS Sports Network’s lead college football announce team.

Play-by-Play/Analyst/Reporter includes: Carter Blackburn/Aaron Taylor/Jenny Dell, Rich Waltz/Aaron Murray/Cassie McKinney, Dave Ryan/Corey Chavous/Melanie Collins, John Sadak/Randy Cross/Tina Cervasio or Sheehan StanwickBurch, Ben Holden/Jay Feely/John Schriffen, Jason Horowitz/David Diehl/Erik Coleman. CBS Sports Network’s Inside College Football coverage is anchored by host Adam Zucker, who is joined by analysts Rick Neuheisel, Brian Jones, Randy Cross and Aaron Taylor. CBS Sports Network studio team also includes hosts Brent Stover and Dana Jacobson, as well as analysts Houston Nutt and Christian Fauria

Jac Collinsworth is joining ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown this fall as a features reporter. The Notre Dame graduate will offer player profiles and other unique stories for ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown pregame show starting in September. During the NFL offseason, he will also contribute to NFL Live. At Notre Dame, Collinsworth created, produced and hosted a weekly ND Live digital series, focusing on the Fighting Irish football team. For three years, he filed weekly player features for head coach Brian Kelly’s nationally-syndicated television show, Inside Notre Dame Football, and he was featured on Showtime’s A Season with Notre Dame Football, where he interviewed athletes on his weekly podcast. He also covered Notre Dame Pro Day in 2016 and 2017 for NFL Network. Collinsworth worked as an assistant sideline producer for NBC broadcasts of Notre Dame football from 2013-16, and he was a sideline reporter for NBC telecasts of the Notre Dame Blue-Gold spring football game in 2016 and 2017. Collinsworth, who is the son of NBC Sunday Night Football analyst and former NFL player Cris Collinsworth, also covered the 2016 Summer Games in Rio as NBC Olympics’ first ever social media correspondent.

Password must contain the following:

A lowercase letter

A capital (uppercase) letter

A number

Minimum 8 characters


The Latest in Sports Video Production & Technology
in Your Inbox for FREE

Daily Email Newsletters Monday - Friday