Could there actually be an Olympics without Bob Costas’s steady and comforting presence at NBC’s anchor desk?
We’re about to find out. Costas, who has held the prime-time gig since 1991, is being replaced by Mike Tirico, who came to NBC from ESPN last April. The move is effective with the 2018 Winter Olympics, which begin in one year in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Costas, who turns 65 in March, has hosted 11 Summer and Winter Games and his handoff to Tirico took place Thursday on the “Today” show.
“It just felt to me like the right time and it’s felt like the right time for a while,” Costas told the New York Times’ Richard Sandomir earlier in the week. “This was a good time to step away, while I could still do it.”
Tirico, who came to NBC after 25 years at ESPN, worked the Rio Olympics and has done NFL and Notre Dame games as well for the network. It seemed inevitable when he was hired that he would eventually succeed Costas as host of the network’s sports coverage at big events.
“I knew Bob wasn’t going to say in the job for 20 more years,” Tirico, 50, told Sandomir, “but I didn’t know if they were going to choose me or when it would happen.”