CBS Juggles Cast of ‘The NFL Today’
CBS announced wholesale changes Tuesday to its “The NFL Today” lineup.
Jerry Glanville is out, Mike Ditka will have a reduced role and Randy Cross is going back to being a game commentator.
As expected, CBS announced that former quarterbacks Dan Marino and Boomer Esiason will be joining the crew. Those two, plus Deion Sanders and veteran host Jim Nantz will make up the new cast.
“I’m a guy who likes to win and I made the decision that with the lineup of analysts that we had we weren’t going to win, and I don’t just mean ratings,” CBS Sports president Sean McManus said. “I mean people watching and saying, ‘The show tells us everything we need to know.’”
The program’s ratings were up 8% last season, but it still trailed Fox’s pregame show by 58%, 4.1 to 2.6.
McManus said he went to Leslie Moonves, the head of the CBS network, and said he was having a tough time deciding between Marino and Esiason.
He said Moonves told him, “Let’s play to win. Get them both.”
“The toughest thing is to find a cast that has all the chemistry you need and the fans like,” McManus said. “At the beginning of ‘The NFL Today,’ we probably made a few choices that we shouldn’t have made. There were people who I thought were going to be well-received who weren’t.
“Now I think we finally have the right mix.”
Marino said he hopes to continue with HBO’s “Inside the NFL.”
Esiason is leaving Fox Sports Net’s “NFL This Morning” but said he will continue as a commentator for the Westwood One/CBS Radio broadcasts of “Monday Night Football.”