James Brown took the time to answer a few questions during a Washington Post chat today. Some of the answers in regards to the pregame shows he has worked for were pretty interesting. He was asked some tough questions about the differences between the two rival networks, but the former FOX and now CBS Host, had some good responses….
Q: It seems these days that just about all the NFL gameday programs have really ramped up their “production values” and have become in your face, loud, quick paced product. Despite this overall trend, CBS has struck me as being more restrained, perhaps the thinking man’s gameday program.
Did you notice such a difference when you left FOX and joined CBS?
James Brown: Yes, I noticed that CBS, to use your words, was more restrained, and I hear that concern loud and clear in terms of broadcast maybe being “in your face.” Hopefully we can as broadcasters temper that with an upbeat, energetic presentation that’s not so “in your face,” because the viewers are very mature, knowledgable, savvy football fans who don’t need to be yelled at. In all honesty, one of the complaints about the CBS show is that some find us by comparison to be boring, and too conservative. Taht was the concern and reputation I heard when I left fox for CBS. Hopefully we have stepped up the excitement without engaging in bufoonery, presenting solid football information in a humorous or interesting fashion. We aren’t talking financial crisis, world wars, etc. — we want to make it fun.
Q: JB what ultimately led to you leaving the Fox pregame show for CBS? Was it the fact that the CBS show is done in New York?
James Brown: It was an exceedingly difficult decision leaving the No. 1 pregame show and people who were more than just colleagues, they were friends. But on balance, the opportunity presented at CBS was too good to pass up. The opportunity to do a range of things is why I pursued the opportunity at CBS.
The great thing about all the pregame shows is certainly the variety that they provide, and while I miss JB on FOX, I think he’s a much better fit for CBS. I’m also surprised that he didn’t try and skate around the differences between FOX and CBS, and I highly approve of the use of a word like bufoonery when describing them.
James Brown Talks NFL, Sports Broadcasting (Washington Post)