Behind the Mic: Phil Simms Shifts to The NFL Today Studio For CBS; Tennis Channel Puts Martina Navratilova in the Booth for Fed Cup

Behind the Mic provides a roundup of recent news regarding on-air talent, including deals, departures, and new assignments compiled from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, Phil Simms moves to The NFL Today studio show for CBS after being replaced by Tony Romo in the booth, Martina Navratilova enters the booth for the first time at Tennis Channel for this weekend’s Fed Cup, NFL VP of Officiating Dean Blandino is leaving the NFL for a to-be-determined TV gig, and Suns television play-by-play announcer Steve Albert is retiring

Photo courtesy of CBS Sports

Phil Simms will join the cast of The NFL Today studio show this fall, according to SI.com. He will join host James Brown and analysts Bill Cowher, Boomer Esiason and Bart Scott on the weekly Sunday program. He takes over the seat previously occupied by Tony Gonzalez, who left the show earlier this year. Simms will also continue on the Showtime NFL studio show, Inside The NFL. CBS announced earlier this month that former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo would replace Simms as the network’s lead NFL game analyst beginning with the 2017-18 NFL season. (SI.com)…

…Tennis Channel will add Hall of Famer and on-air analyst Martina Navratilova to its booth during coverage of this weekend’s Fed Cup semifinal between the United States and the Czech Republic. It is the first time in her 11-year Tennis Channel career that Navratilova will offer commentary during coverage of the event, the most prestigious international team tournament in women’s tennis. The two-day competition gets underway Saturday, April 22, at 12 p.m. ET, in Tampa Bay, Fla. Navratilova will be paired with announcer Brett Haber (@BrettHaber) during Tennis Channel’s coverage of the U.S.-Czech Republic matchup at Florida’s Saddlebrook Resort this weekend…

…NFL officiating director Dean Blandino is leaving the NFL and, according to ESPN, is expected to go into broadcasting as a rules analyst and has had discussions with multiple networks. Blandino has been the league’s VP of officiating since 2013 and has overseen several changes in the way the game has been officiated, with an emphasis on player safety. Blandino will remain with the NFL until at least the end of May, and a search for a successor has already begun. The 45-year-old Blandino has young children, and the demands of his job have limited the time he has spent with them and his wife. Sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that Blandino (ESPN.com)…

…Suns television play-by-play announcer Steve Albert is retiring, ending a 45-year career in sports broadcasting. Albert, Marv Albert’s younger brother, was with the Suns the last five seasons and had previously spent 13 years as the voice of the Nets, five seasons as TV play-by-play announcer for the Warriors, and one season with the Hornets. Albert was the announcer for Showtime boxing for 24 years and also did play-by-play work for the Mets, Jets, Islanders and Devils. (New York Post)…

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