Behind The Mic: CBS, Turner Announce March Madness Broadcast Teams, Sean McDonough To Leave Monday Night Football

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, CBS and Turner announce their March Madness commentary teams with one familiar face missing, multiple high-profile changes at ESPN, an all-time NASCAR great steps into a new role as analyst, the Tennis Channel brings on a former ESPNer for coverage, a champion joins the broadcast booth for a recent UFC pay-per-view, and Univision makes some history during a recent Liga MX game.

With the First Four games to tip off tonight, CBS and Turner Sports recently announced the broadcast teams for the slate of games across the CBS and Turner family of networks, with Spero Dedes calling Tuesday’s games alongside analysts Steve Smith and Len Elmore and sideline reporter Ros Gold-Onwude while Ian Eagle will call the Wednesday games with analyst Jim Spanarkel and reporter Allie LaForce.

Calling both Final Four games and the national championship game will be Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, and Tracy Wolfson for the fourth year in a row.

The other CBS/Turner broadcast teams are Brian Anderson, Chris Webber and Lisa Byington; Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, and Dana Jacobson; Brad Nessler, Steve Lavin and Evan Washburn; Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, and Jamie Erdahl; Carter Blackburn, Debbie Antonelli, and John Schriffen.

The studio team will be anchored by Ernie Johnson, Greg Gumbel and Casey Stern, who will be joined by analysts Charles Barkley, Clark Kellogg, Kenny Smith, Brendan Haywood, Seth Davis, Candace Parker, and Wally Szczerbiak.

Notable by his absence is long-time CBS announcer Verne Lundquist, who decided to not be a part of CBS’ tournament coverage after having back surgery last year, which cause him to relinquish his SEC football duties…

…ESPN in the midst of some of anchor changes in some major positions, most notably the 6:00 p.m. SportsCenter slot as after his co-anchor Jemele Hill left the show in January to become a contributor for various ESPN projects, including The Undefeated, Michael Smith has also relinquished his chair, with his last day being this past Friday. (Washington Post)…

…The other major change at ESPN is that Sean McDonough, who has been the play-by-play voice of Monday Night Football for the past two seasons, will be coming back to the network’s college football announcing team as part of a recent multi-year extension…

…ESPN also announced that Dan O’Brien, former Olympic gold medalist and world recorded holder in the decathlon, will be a part of the team covering this year’s NCAA indoor track and field championships. O’Brien will be partnering with Dwight Stones and Larry Rawson

…Besides O’Brien, ESPN also announced its NCAA Division I softball teams broadcast teams for this season, which will feature multiple All-Americans and gold medalists. Returning to the booth will be play-by-play caller Beth Mowins, alongside analysts Amanda Scarborough and Michele SmithJoining Mowins in calling the 650 games on the ESPN slate will be Adam Amin, Cara Capuano, Tyler Denning, Tiffany Greene, Melissa Lee, Alex Loeb, Courtney Lyle, Mark Neely, Matt Schick and Pam Ward, who will be joined by Kayla Braud, Carol Bruggeman, Jenny Dalton-Hill, Cheri Kempf, Erin Miller, Jennie Ritter, Megan Willis, and newcomer Madison Shipman

…Following his recent contributions for NBC’s Super Bowl LII coverage and the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games, NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. will begin his role as a NASCAR analyst on NASCAR America, starting this week…

…Current Entertainment Tonight anchor and former ESPN host Kevin Frazier was tapped by the Tennis Channel to be a part of their coverage of the BNP Paribus Open. Frazier will be anchoring the on-site studio coverage as well as the Desert Smash celebrity event which took place a day before the event…

…In honor of last week’s International Women’s Day, Univision made a statement by tapping Iris Cisneros to call this past Saturday’s Liga MX game between Club America and Leon, which was broadcast by a all-female crew for the first time.

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