In a surprising move that will have ripple effects across the industry, Tim Brando and CBS Sports are parting ways after nearly two decades together according to Sports Business Journal. The writing was perhaps on the wall when CBS Sports Network replaced Brando's radio show syndication with the Boomer & Carton radio program out of New York.
However, Brando still had some pretty good gigs with the CBS broadcast network. He was the studio host of the highly watched SEC football package and a play by play man for CBS's coverage of the NCAA Tournament going back to 1996.
A CBS Sports spokesperson has confirmed their relationship with Brando has come to an end and he will make no more appearances for the network.
To see Tim Brando and CBS parting ways suddenly is a surprise and may mean many more dominoes are going to fall in the near future.
Immediately, this move opens up a coveted NCAA Tournament announcing slot. The favorite would appear to be rising star Andrew Catalon, who called Indiana-Michigan State on CBS a couple weeks ago with Clark Kellogg and did very well.
The bigger question is what happens with the network's SEC football package. Brando had been seen by many as a future successor to Verne Lundquist in the play by play chair for the SEC on CBS when he decided to step away. This year Brando teamed with Aaron Taylor to form the network's #2 broadacst team on the weeks CBS aired an SEC doubleheader. Lundquist is 73 and while his voice is still iconic, it shouldn't be outside of CBS's perogative to be thinking about their future voice of SEC football.
So where will CBS turn? There just so happens to be another major college football job that could be open as rumors are swirling over whether or not ESPN will re-sign 74 year old Brent Musburger to lead their college football coverage. Chris Fowler, Rece Davis, and even Mike Tirico have all been mentioned as possible successors to Musburger to be the voice of the new college football playoff. It's also well within reason that ESPN will re-sign Musburger to a short-term contract much like the network did with Lee Corso.
Whichever direction ESPN turns, perhaps one of those announcers will see an opportunity at CBS opening up and decide to jump ship. Even though CBS is largely out of the picture when it comes to the college football postseason, their SEC package is the most-watched college football game on a weekly basis during the regular season. If ESPN re-signs Musburger or throws a curveball and pairs Tirico with Herbstriet, perhaps that would lead either Fowler or Davis to move to CBS to replace Brando immediately as studio host and eventually Lundquist in the broadcast booth. If CBS offers Davis or Fowler the SEC job as well as a March Madness or PGA Tour opportunity (or even an NFL announcing spot), would that be enough to convince them to leave Bristol? I would think it'd be more likely to see Davis make a move since Fowler is still ESPN's #1 college football host and has become ESPN's lead tennis announcer for their Grand Slam coverage.
If CBS stays in house to replace Lundquist in the near future, there isn't an obvious choice. Perhaps younger voices like Andrew Catalon or Spero Dedes get their big break, perhaps they shift over Ian Eagle or Kevin Harlan from NFL duties, or maybe they'll just do what they always do and give the job to Jim Nantz.
Whatever happens with these jobs, this could be the beginning of another wave of big changes within the industry.