Boxing and MMA fans may not be too sad to see Gus Johnson leave the CBS family. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Sports Illustrated reports that CBS and commentator Gus Johnson have ended a 16-year professional relationship after failing to come to terms on a new contract.
Johnson, who is most famous for his incredibly excitable coverage of March Madness and the NFL, will still call Saturday's fight between Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley for Showtime pay-per-view.
I have not been kind, to say the least, in my assessment of Gus Johnson's abilities when it comes to calling boxing, and mixed martial arts fans argue that he's even worse calling the Strikeforce events, also for Showtime/CBS. Personally, this is good news for me as far as Johnson no longer being the lead voice of Showtime's bigger boxing events, but it's not like I'm happy that he's out of a job or anything. And there are no doubt a great many sports fans who felt Gus was a huge part of March Madness and will miss him in that role.
But it's also not like he's going to struggle to find work. Johnson was reportedly up for the NFL Network job (that went to Brad Nessler), and SI says there are already strong rumors about his next job:
Industry sources said Johnson has spoken with Fox Sports about a role in its college football coverage. Fox Sports (which has a 49 percent ownership share in the Big Ten Network) recently upped its inventory of college football as part of the 12-year, $3 billion contract between the Pac-10 (soon to be the Pac-12) and ESPN and Fox. The two networks will carry a combined 44 regular-season football games on ESPN and Fox broadcast or national cable networks, along with 68 men's basketball games. They will alternate televising the Pac-12 football championship game and the men's basketball tournament.
So look, yes I'm happy that Gus isn't going to be, in my opinion, weighing down the Showtime boxing broadcasts anymore. I felt he never really meshed with the sport, and that despite it seeming to be on paper a good mix, it just never worked out. But he's one of the most well-known sports broadcasters in America, and I'm sure he'll have a new job before you can even get used to his absence in his old haunts.