Frank Gifford, who was reportedly considering a move to another network, will stay with ABC and will continue on "Monday Night Football" as color commentator, the network announced yesterday.
ABC Sports President Dennis Swanson announced that Gifford, a 16-year veteran of "Monday Night Football," will be paired with Al Michaels, who will handle play-by-play duties. Michaels took over that assignment when Gifford was switched from play-by-play and the network removed O.J. Simpson and Joe Namath from the broadcast booth.
Michaels is ABC's principal play-by-play man for its baseball game of the week, and his promotion to "Monday Night Football" puts him at the top of the network's sports' play-by-play list.
Gifford said, "I am delighted everything is resolved, but, in truth, I never left. I read all about the fact that I was going, but I'm still here."
Gifford added the only reason he did not attempt to put an end to speculation about his departing the network was because of illness in his family.
When Namath and Simpson, who has been reassigned to ABC's college football telecasts, were taken off the NFL telecasts, published reports indicated Gifford was unhappy and was looking toward football work with either NBC or CBS, the network that initially hired him following his playing days with the New York Giants.
Gifford also said he would continue to do other work for ABC, including the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics and for "Wide World of Sports." Gifford won an Emmy in 1977 for his work on "Monday Night Football." Until the switch to Michaels, he had always served as the play-by-play man for the broadcasts, most notably when he was teamed with Howard Cosell and Don Meredith.