Gumbel Answers NBC Tee Call : Golf: He will be the main host for 12 of 19 tournaments. Johnny Miller replaces Lee Trevino as analyst.

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Bryant Gumbel, an avid golfer, has agreed to serve as the main host for 12 of the 19 golf tournaments NBC will televise this year.

The new assignment is expected to have little effect on his role as the host of the “Today” show. Over a six-month period, he may miss only four days.

NBC has named golfer Johnny Miller as its top analyst. He and Gumbel will work from the tower at the 18th hole.


Gumbel and Miller replace Vin Scully and Lee Trevino, NBC’s main golf team since 1983.

Scully, choosing to spend more time at home, recently severed ties with the network since it has lost baseball.

Trevino left NBC to play on the Senior PGA Tour.

Other newcomers to NBC’s golf announcing team will be Joel Meyers, former UCLA radio announcer, and football commentator Bob Trumpy, who recently gave up his radio talk show in Cincinnati.

Meyers, hired as a pro football announcer last summer, this week was given a new multi-year contract calling for more extensive work.

Terry O’Neil, the executive producer of NBC Sports, said: “Joel is one of the newcomers of the year in network television. Joel can certainly handle the diversity of different sports. He will have a key role in Barcelona (at the 1992 Summer Olympics).”

About the hiring of Miller, O’Neil said: “Johnny Miller was thoroughly--and sometimes painfully--candid as a player, about both his own game and the other tour players. He is absolutely independent. He’s honest and contemporary and fully willing to speak his mind.”

NBC’s first golf tournament of the year will be the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic at La Quinta next week. The early rounds, beginning Wednesday, will be televised on ESPN, but Gumbel will not be a part of those.


Charlie Jones will serve as the main host during the early-round cable coverage of NBC tournaments. Jones, who has been doing golf for NBC since 1965, will continue to work in one of the NBC towers during weekend coverage.

Mark Wolfing will serve as a course reporter.

Gumbel, who carries a 13 handicap, has been close to golf for years. Among other things, he is the host of an annual benefit golf tournament at Walt Disney World in Florida.

“For about 12 years, golf has been my passion and I play as often as I can,” he said.

However, Gumbel wasn’t a candidate for the job until last week.

Dick Ebersol, who is both the president of NBC Sports and the executive in charge of the “Today” show, had Gumbel in his office when he took a call from Scully.

Scully had called to tell Ebersol he had decided not to accept an offer to stay and do golf.

After Scully hung up, Gumbel said to Ebersol, “So who are you going to get to replace Scully?”

Ebersol said he didn’t know, so Gumbel said, “Well, you haven’t asked me.”

Ebersol jumped at the idea and was able to work out details with Gumbel’s agent, Ed Hookstratten.


Gumbel did some fill-in golf work back in 1980 but hasn’t done any since.