Behind the Mic: Bob Costas Officially Parts Ways With NBC Sports; Steve Harvey To Host NFL Honors

Behind the Mic provides a roundup of recent news regarding on-air talent, including new deals, departures, and assignments compiled from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, NBC Sports and Bob Costas officially part ways, Steve Harvey will host the NFL Honors, ESPN is giving Max Kellerman a weekly boxing show, and a pair of NL Central broadcast personalities will retire at the end of the 2019 season.

Photo: Greg Allen/Invision/Associated Press

According to the New York Post, industry legend Bob Costas and his time at NBC Sports is officially over. Costas’ career with NBC includes coverage of the Olympics, the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA Finals and the Triple Crown.

“It’s all settled quietly and happily for all concerned,” he told The Post. “I have some possibilities, but I have to decide what I want to do.”

After the official split, Costas will continue his work on MLB Network programming as well as doing play-by-play on about 20 games. In addition, he will be searching to do an interview-type show on the network…

…Emmy Award-winning personality, producer, and talk show host Steve Harvey will take the stage as host of the NFL Honors on Saturday, Feb. 2 at the Fox Theater in Atlanta.

The NFL Honors, which debuted in Indianapolis in 2012, is an annual event hosted from the Super Bowl city the evening before the AFC and NFC champions meet. Harvey joins Alec Baldwin, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Myers, Conan O’Brien, and Rob Riggle on the list of award-winning celebrities to host the NFL’s awards show. Music for the show will once again be performed by vocalist-instrumentalist Spencer Ludwig

…ESPN’s Max Kellerman – featured commentator on the network’s popular morning debate show First Take – will host a new, 30-minute boxing series on ESPN2 and the ESPN App. It will air Fridays at 5 p.m. ET and feature the veteran boxing expert’s analysis, interviews with top fighters, and guest appearances by leaders in the sport. The show will debut Friday, Feb. 8, ahead of that weekend’s Top Rank on ESPN card featuring Jose Ramirez vs. Jose Zepeda.

In addition to his weekday responsibilities with the boxing show and First Take, Kellerman will provide regular pre and post-match studio analysis and contribute to in-fight coverage for certain Top Rank on ESPN cards. He will also regularly appear on SportsCenter and across ESPN’s platforms to provide updates and insight as well as more in-depth stories on the sport’s top boxers and upcoming events…

…This week, two baseball broadcast voices will be hanging up their mics at the end of the upcoming season. The Pittsburgh Pirates’ Steve Blass and the Cincinnati Reds’ Marty Brennaman both made the announcement through videos on the Pirates and Reds official Twitter page.

Blass, a long-time staple in Pittsburgh as both a player and on-air talent, will be celebrating his 60th and final season as a Pirate. “Sixty seasons with the Pirates, one organization in one city, I am so very proud of that,” he said. “I have spent many years driving by the roses, but now it is time for me to stop and smell the roses.”

“Steve is as synonymous with Pirates baseball as anyone in the history of our organization,” said team owner Bob Nutting in a statement. “Words cannot express how appreciative we at the Pirates organization are for his dedication or how beloved he is and always will be.”

As for Brennaman, he joined the Reds broadcast after Al Michaels made his departure 46 years ago. “I feel like I’ve had a love affair that’s gone through four-and-a-half decades because you all have been so good to me,” Brennaman said. “I’m going to miss a lot of things, but you folks are going to be right there at the top of the list.”