2. Figure out what to do with Josh Elliott

This is somewhat an extension of the first change I’d make, but NBC spent a reported $4 million for a guy who has no definitive role at the company.

Is Josh Elliott the heir apparent to Bob Costas? Well, that only works if Costas either retires or significantly scales his workload back, neither of which it seems like he’s planning to do anytime soon.

Is Elliott the heir to Matt Lauer, like many assumed when he took a role at NBC after helping ABC’s Good Morning America to better ratings than the Today show? Lauer re-upped his deal in 2014, and per a July story from Variety that reported Elliott was in talks to leave NBC to return to GMA, the former morning-show anchor has not been used on Today to specifically avoid conflicts with Lauer.

If the foray into NBC Sports was merely an end-around on Elliott’s ABC deal to get him out of GMA and over to NBC sooner, the move back to morning television seems more likely to happen back at GMA than at Today.

Assuming Elliott stays at NBC Sports for the foreseeable future — an assumption I’m not entirely willing to make — it’s hard to figure what that future will be. He’s too good (and too expensive) to be wasted as an understudy for Costas, yet he’s not worth the backlash it would bring on NBC if he were to replace Dan Patrick on the Football Night in America show.

If I were running NBC, there’s no one I’d want standing next to Victor Espinoza to get his thoughts about riding a horsey to the Triple Crown than Elliott. I just don’t see how that’s worth what he’s making at NBC, or worth the gig he gave up at ABC, contract negotiations notwithstanding.

With the Olympics a year away, there will be plenty of things for Elliott to do with the Peacock — his reporting and interview style is tailor-made for NBC’s Olympic audience — but one has to seriously start to wonder if he’ll still even be with NBC by that point, and if so, in what role.

Again, if I were in charge, I would find a more prominent role for Elliott immediately, even if that meant less regular work on NBC’s high-profile events for others.

That, or admit the endeavor was a top-heavy mistake and move on amicably before the Olympic push begins. After all, NBC does have other underutilized talent.

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About Dan Levy

Dan Levy has written a lot of words in a lot of places, most recently as the National Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. He was host of The Morning B/Reakaway on Sirius XM's Bleacher Report Radio for the past year, and previously worked at Sporting News and Rutgers University, with a concentration on sports, media and public relations.

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