College basketball commentator Billy Packer, who has announced 34 consecutive Final Fours on network television and created a few controversies along the way, will not be returning to CBS for a 28th season, The Miami Herald has learned.
CBS has decided to replace Packer, 68, with studio analyst Clark Kellogg on its lead announcing team.
An announcement is expected Monday, but CBS representative Leslie Anne Wade confirmed the story Sunday night.
CBS believed the time was right for a change and that Kellogg deserved a chance to work with Jim Nantz on the lead team.
Packer, who had been going year to year with his contract, confirmed through a CBS official Sunday that he no longer will broadcast for the network but is pursuing other projects in basketball. Packer declined to comment further.
To no ones surprise everyone around the country, except for perhaps a cluster of ACC (and
Clay over at Deadspin poured it on:
Like most college basketball fans, I’m excited to see Packer and his bitterness leave the airwaves (although I’m sure that rtmsf is sad to see a
alum lose his job). While Packer has certainly become an institution (of hatred) in college basketball, it seems like in recent year, Packer has been more controversial than normal although that may just be a recency effect. Wake Forest
Thirty Five Seconds bid "good night" to the "sweet prince," while Awful Announcing still can’t believe Packer "lasted this long"
Personally ever since Billy Packer took down the St. Joe's number 1 seed in 2004 I've been ready to see him go. Yeah, yeah, that's the pathetic A-10 basketball fan in me, but still, you gotta expect there are some champagne corks popping on Hawk Hill today. I'm not alone in this feeling judging by, and this is not a misprint, the 90.5 percent disapproval that Packer racked up in Deadspin's media approval rating. Ouch, Billy, ouch.
Yeah, I am not all that excited about Clark Kellog neither I am fired up about Jim Nantz being kept in the "lead team" either. I think making this long over due move gives CBS a golden opportunity to install you know who as the voice of the Big Dance:
In all honesty, I can't believe he lasted this long. He was like the "Teflon Don" of Broadcasting. None of his controversial acts were ever punished because (and I'm just assuming here) they brought viewers to the Tournament. Only now, just three months after Packer told people to change the channel during the Final Four because the Tar Heels were down 20, is he being let go. This business continues to amaze me everyday.
As far as Kellogg as the replacement....umm, maybe I shouldn't say anything and just enjoy this for now. Yeah that's what I'll do. Never look a gift horse in the mouth.
But I doubt that would happen, because it makes too much sense.