James Brown On The Differences Between Working At Fox And CBS

Thursday, October 09, 2008

James Brown took the time to answer a few questions during a Washington Post chat today. Some of the answers in regards to the pregame shows he has worked for were pretty interesting. He was asked some tough questions about the differences between the two rival networks, but the former FOX and now CBS Host, had some good responses....

Q: It seems these days that just about all the NFL gameday programs have really ramped up their "production values" and have become in your face, loud, quick paced product. Despite this overall trend, CBS has struck me as being more restrained, perhaps the thinking man's gameday program.

Did you notice such a difference when you left FOX and joined CBS?

James Brown: Yes, I noticed that CBS, to use your words, was more restrained, and I hear that concern loud and clear in terms of broadcast maybe being "in your face." Hopefully we can as broadcasters temper that with an upbeat, energetic presentation that's not so "in your face," because the viewers are very mature, knowledgable, savvy football fans who don't need to be yelled at. In all honesty, one of the complaints about the CBS show is that some find us by comparison to be boring, and too conservative. Taht was the concern and reputation I heard when I left fox for CBS. Hopefully we have stepped up the excitement without engaging in bufoonery, presenting solid football information in a humorous or interesting fashion. We aren't talking financial crisis, world wars, etc. -- we want to make it fun.

Q: JB what ultimately led to you leaving the Fox pregame show for CBS? Was it the fact that the CBS show is done in New York?

James Brown: It was an exceedingly difficult decision leaving the No. 1 pregame show and people who were more than just colleagues, they were friends. But on balance, the opportunity presented at CBS was too good to pass up. The opportunity to do a range of things is why I pursued the opportunity at CBS.
The great thing about all the pregame shows is certainly the variety that they provide, and while I miss JB on FOX, I think he's a much better fit for CBS. I'm also surprised that he didn't try and skate around the differences between FOX and CBS, and I highly approve of the use of a word like bufoonery when describing them.

James Brown Talks NFL, Sports Broadcasting (Washington Post)


"The opportunity to do a range of things is why I pursued the opportunity at CBS."

What 'other things' does JB do?
Never seen him other than on NFL pre-game.

Anonymous said...
Oct 9, 2008, 5:16:00 PM  

anon, thankfully you have already forgotten his god awful performances with Len Elmore during March Madness.

GMoney said...
Oct 9, 2008, 5:32:00 PM  

Maybe he's signed on to the 16th hole at the Masters

Anonymous said...
Oct 9, 2008, 6:01:00 PM  

Yeah, that one year appearance at the NCAA's was it for JB. I don't see how he has any other opportunities. Maybe they will move Gumbel to games and bring JB into the studio for the NCAA's now that Clark Kellogg is moving to games as well. I really like Gumbel in studio for the NCAA's but I could see them making a switch to keep JB happy.

Anonymous said...
Oct 9, 2008, 6:01:00 PM  

Wrong network. Wrong person. But I'm glad someone can "tell it like it is."

Anonymous said...
Oct 9, 2008, 6:51:00 PM  

Actually, IIRC, JB did first and second round games of the tourney this past year.

Anonymous said...
Oct 9, 2008, 7:56:00 PM  

I didn't even realize he moved.

Ace said...
Oct 9, 2008, 8:13:00 PM  

Needed a place to put this:
"I think the Phillies are trying to get Manny out." -McCarver

I came in late, so I could have missed something, but that was the first thing I heard after turning on the game.

Anonymous said...
Oct 9, 2008, 8:28:00 PM  

Anon at 7:56 - JB did not do the 1st and 2nd round this season. Craig Bolerjack returned this year and Gus Johnson was returned to his spot doing the first two weekends.

Anonymous said...
Oct 9, 2008, 8:39:00 PM  

Don't know if anybody got this, but Lou Holtz just made an epic comment about Longhorn fans.

Anonymous said...
Oct 9, 2008, 9:23:00 PM  

JB had made some similar comments last year when he was on the Don and Mike Show. I think he felt that when he was on with these guys(who he has genuine respect for) he could be open and honest; he rarely minced words.

nobody's_fool said...
Oct 10, 2008, 12:07:00 AM  


A boring host now finds his boring pre-game show.

"Thinking man's show" and Sterling Sharpe analysis don't necessarily fit, however. Or, how about CBS talking about some upscale bar/restaurant deal at Foxboro and how great it is...in the middle of a recession.

I know JB's isn't to make waves...but, come on, give us a *little* bit of life out there on the set, know what I'm sayin'?

Anonymous said...
Oct 10, 2008, 3:28:00 AM  

No bufoonery? Shannon Sharpe bringing out some stupid prop every week and everybody fake laughing about it for ten minutes?

Nah, that's not bufoonery, Mr. Harvard Grad.

hollywood wags said...
Oct 10, 2008, 6:38:00 AM  

CBS' pregame show is far and away much better than FOX's. Yes, JB sucks at play-by-play, but he is an excellent studio host, by far the best on TV. I'm pretty mad at KUTV in Salt Lake City, though. They've replaced Broncos-Jaguars with Raiders-Saints, thus no CBS for me this weekend.

Brad James said...
Oct 10, 2008, 1:44:00 PM  

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