It’s amazing to think how long Jim Nantz has been at CBS. He began as a studio host for college football in 1985 and has advanced to the point where he’s the number one announcer for the NFL, college basketball and golf.

He’s called every NCAA Final Four since 1991, been the main announcer for the PGA Tour and The Masters since 1994 and has been involved on the NFL on CBS package either as a host on the NFL Today or play-by-play. He’s called three Super Bowls and hosted two others. And he added Thursday Night Football to his portfolio just last year.

Nantz is one of four men to call a Super Bowl and the NCAA men’s basketball championship in the same year, Dick Enberg, Curt Gowdy and Kevin Harlan are the others.

In addition to calling the NFL, the NCAA Tournament and golf, Nantz was a weekend host on CBS’ coverage of the Winter Olympics in 1992 and 1994 and the primetime host in 1998. He also was the main college football play-by-play man from 1989 to 1991 and from 1996 to 1997.

You may not know that he was also assigned to the U.S. Open to do spot play-by-play duty there as well.

Among the people he’s worked as partners over the years include Pat Haden, Randy Cross, Phil Simms, Lou Holtz, Terry Donahue, Ken Venturi, Nick Faldo, Lanny Wadkins, Billy Packer, Clark Kellogg, Greg Anthony, Steve Kerr, Bill Raftery, Grant Hill and so many others.

So Adweek caught up with Nantz to seek his advice to young broadcasters hoping to break into the business:

Going to events, recording play-by-play into a tape deck and honing the craft. That’s what many play-by-play announcers have done before getting that big break. It’s all about practice and improving to the point where someone notices. For Nantz, his big break came when he got the call to go to CBS in 1985 and he hasn’t looked back since.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.