Last week, it was revelaed Golf Channel’s Morning Drive co-host Erik Kuselias would be reassigned to Comcast/NBC sister station NBC Sports Network. Kuselias had been the co-host of Golf Channel’s morning talk show Morning Drive since January 2011 when he left ESPN. At the time of the news, Stephanie Wei blasted Kuselias and viewed the reassignment as a sign Kuselias ultimately failed at the Golf Channel. Sports by Brooks tweeted the reassignment was in fact a demotion that had something to do with Kuselias’ off-screen behavior.
It turns out Kuselias’ reassignment has made him one of the faces of NBC Sports Network. NBC announced Friday that Kuselias would be named the full-time nightly host of the NBCSN flagship studio show NBC Sports Talk, replacing Russ Thaler (who is reportedly staying with NBC). The announcement was met with something less than widespread enthusiasm…
Erik Kuselias has been named the primary host of NBC Sports Talk. Which means I will not be watching NBC Sports Talk.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) May 18, 2012
Erik Kuselias will be on NBC Sportstalk? That dude bores me to tears. He can’t carry any show.
— Brian Gillespie (@coachgillespie) May 18, 2012
Just when I thought NBC Sports network was progressing nicely, I see Erik Kuselias on the screen. #lame
— Keyser Söze (@ramthebuffs) May 17, 2012
Kuselias has had his detractors for a long time, going back to his starring role in AJ Daulerio’s scorched earth policy against ESPN in 2009. A year and a half later, another Deadspin report featured Kuselias in an affair with his Golf Channel co-host Holly Saunders (the two are now engaged). With all the rumors and reports surrounding Kuselias away from the television screen, he has developed a seedy reputation that translated to this growing distaste regarding his on-screen persona.
I’m rather ambivalent to Kuselias. He’s got a smooth delivery and he does have some talent. However, something just never sits right with me when I’m watching Kuselias. It goes back to his ESPN days when he was ESPN’s utility infielder. When he substituted on Mike & Mike he tried to be Mike & Mike, when he substituted on The Herd he tried to be Cowherd, when he substituted on First Take he tried to be Skip Bayless, etc. There was a car salesman vibe that came from whatever on-screen void he was filling. In the big picture, it seems like a sideways step for NBC Sports Talk. Instead of cultivating someone like Russ Thaler or Liam McHugh into the role, or nabbing a big name from outside, they’ve gone with someone who many will see as an ESPN/Golf Channel retread who hasn’t stuck in one place for very long.