Behind the Mic: Johnny Miller Calls It A Career at the Waste Management Phoenix Open; CBS Sports Looks to Extend Deal With Tony Romo

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, Johnny Miller will call his last round of golf action at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, CBS Sports is reportedly trying to extend their deal with Tony Romo before his contract expires, Al Leiter will not be rejoining the YES Network booth in 2019, Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer will return for another season of Thursday Night Football on Prime Video, and Fox Sports releases their commentary team for Fox PBC Fight Night: Thurman vs. Lopez.

Photo: Getty Images

Johnny Miller will call his final broadcast next Saturday (Feb. 2) during NBC Sports’ live third-round coverage of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, following nearly 30 years spent as the network’s lead golf analyst. The broadcast will celebrate Miller’s three decades in the 18th tower through special tributes and reflections during third round coverage from the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona.

“Johnny Miller has been a fixture in television for generations of golf fans, with his pointed, unfiltered approach and commitment to always calling it like he sees it for the viewer at home,” says Tommy Roy, lead golf producer, NBC Sports. “Sundays on the PGA TOUR are all about crowning a deserving champion, so we’ll offer our reflections and gratitude to Johnny during Saturday’s third round coverage, as we celebrate his revered broadcast career.”

For Miller – a World Golf Hall of Fame member – the event is a fitting one to mark his final broadcast, as a two-time winner of the tournament in 1974-’75, helping to earn him the “Desert Fox” nickname for his success on “desert-style” courses over the course of his playing career.

NBC Sports’ plans to celebrate Miller’s career during Saturday’s third round coverage will center around dedicated tributes, reflections and other elements, including:

  • Anecdotes from PGA Tour players (past and present) offering perspective on Miller’s impact on the sport and how it’s covered on television.
  • Reflections on Miller from fellow sports broadcasters across the industry.
  • A “thanks for the memories”-style tribute from other NBCUniversal personalities.
  • A special acknowledgment from Dan Hicks, Miller’s broadcast partner since 2000, on the symbolism of the Waste Management Phoenix Open being the analyst’s final broadcast.
  • Retrospective elements from Miller’s broadcast career, including memorable sequences, occasional divisive moments, and other highlights over the past 29 years.

Next week will represent the 20th consecutive (and final) year of Miller and Hicks sitting alongside one another in the broadcast booth, a record for the longest-tenured 18th tower tandem in broadcast golf. NBC Sports Group will carry nearly 20 live hours of tournament coverage from the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 31-Feb. 3. During Sunday’s final round broadcast on NBC, the network’s new lead analyst Paul Azinger will join Hicks during the closing stretch of the event, before making his official debut at the WGC-Mexico Championship (Feb. 21-24), where he’ll call all four days of coverage.

Miller was named lead analyst of NBC Sports’ golf broadcast team in 1990 and quickly made his mark as the game’s most candid commentator, calling some of golf’s most memorable shots for the past three decades. Garnering eight Emmy nominations for “Outstanding Sports Personality – Sports Event Analyst,” Miller’s insight and frank approach have earned him both critical praise and viewer appreciation, as well as the respect and occasional raised eyebrow from those competing inside the ropes…

…According to the New York Post, CBS Sports is making attempts to give NFL analyst Tony Romo a substantial raise. Romo currently makes a salary within the $4 million range, but CBS Sports is looking to make their move before his contract ends at the end of the season. Romo will be on the call for CBS Sports at Super Bowl LIII down in Atlanta…

…In another report by the New York Post. YES Network analyst Al Leiter will not return to the booth before the start of the 2019 season. The reasoning for his departure is to spend more time seeing his son Jack, an All-American pitcher and Vanderbilt commit, pitch in his senior year of high school.

“I’m grateful for my 12 years. It was a family,” Leiter told The Post. “It is hard to leave. It is more about being able to see Jack and my kids (three daughters) doing their things.”

Despite leaving YES Network, he will continue his duties with MLB Network…

…Amazon Prime Video announced that following a historic 2018 season, Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer, two of the most accomplished and well-respected sports journalists in the industry, will return to provide commentary and analysis for the 2019 season of Thursday Night Football on Prime Video.

Kremer was recently honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame as the recipient of the prestigious Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award, which recognizes “long-time exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football.” A multiple Emmy Award winner, Kremer currently serves as the Chief Correspondent for the NFL Network and is a correspondent for HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. She is also a co-host for CBS Sports Network’s We Need to Talk. Earlier in her career, Kremer was the sideline and feature reporter for Sunday Night Football on NBC. She has worked more than 25 Super Bowls. In 2011, she was named one of the 10 greatest female sportscasters of all time.

Storm is a pioneer in the field of sports broadcasting. Storm, who was named one of AdWeek’s “30 Most Powerful Women in Sports,” currently serves as an ESPN SportsCenter anchor, including a new 90-minute Monday Night Football edition, hosts marquee events, and conducts in-depth interviews with the most prominent figures in the sports world. Over the course of her career, Storm handled premier events at NBC Sports and CNN, where she was the first female host of CNN Sports Tonight, and served as a host of The Early Show on CBS. In 2008, Storm created Brainstormin’ Productions and has produced, executive produced and directed major projects for ESPN, espnW, SEC Network, and EPIX, and has received multiple Gracie Awards and New York Festivals TV & Film Awards…

…Fox Sports announces former two-division champion Danny Garcia and former lightweight champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini serve as analysts with host Kate Abdo live in Fox Sports’ Los Angeles studios for pre and postfight coverage of Fox PBC Fight Night: Thurman vs. Lopez on Saturday, Jan. 26 (8:00 PM ET) on Fox, Fox Deportes, and streaming on the Fox Sports app.

In addition, three-time heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and legendary trainer Joe Goossen join blow-by-blow announcer Chris Myers to call Fox PBC Fight Night live from Brooklyn. Veteran combat sports journalist Heidi Androl reports and interviews fighters, while International Boxing Hall of Famers Jimmy Lennon Jr. and Larry Hazzard Sr. join the show as ring announcer and Fox Sports PBC rules expert/unofficial scorer, respectively. Adrian Garcia Marquez and Jaime Motta call the fights in Spanish on Fox Deportes.

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