BROADCASTING

Brown Leaving Fox to Host CBS Pregame Show

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

James Brown is switching jerseys.

The veteran broadcaster and Washington native is stepping down as host of the "Fox NFL Sunday" pregame show to join CBS, where he'll take on the same role for "The NFL Today" starting next season. At CBS, Brown also will be a play-by-play announcer for the network's coverage of college basketball, including the NCAA tournament.

Brown replaces current "NFL Today" host Greg Gumbel , who will return to play-by-play duties next fall. Gumbel will team with Dan Dierdorf as the network's number two announcing team behind Jim Nantz and Phil Simms .

In a conference call yesterday, Brown said he prefers to characterize his move to CBS as "going back home" rather than jumping to a competing network. Brown worked at CBS -- where he handled NFL, NBA and college basketball duties -- from 1984 until 1994, when he joined Fox for the network's inaugural season of football.

"I started at CBS," Brown said. "It's amazing how many Freudian slips there were throughout the stretch [at Fox] where I continued to reference CBS."

Fox Sports spokesman Dan Bell said yesterday that the network is "evaluating our options" for Brown's replacement but that no decision is imminent.

Brown got his start calling Washington Bullets games for local television in 1978 and later joined WUSA-9 as a reporter and anchor.

-- John Maynard


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