Behind the Mic: Fox Sports’ Big Noon Kickoff Heads Out to the LA Coliseum for No. 10 Utah-USC

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, Fox Sports Big Noon Kickoff heads to LA for the contest between Utah and USC, a veteran NBA reporter joins NBC Sports Chicago, and a notable Sports Illustrated writer joins NBC Sports.

The full cast of Big Noon Kickofff, Fox Sports’ new college football pregame show, hits the road for the first time this season, heading to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum tonight for No. 10 Utah at USC on FS1.

Host Rob Stone and analysts Brady QuinnReggie BushMatt Leinart, and Urban Meyer present a one-hour pregame show, plus halftime and post-game coverage, from the field beginning at 8:00 PM ET. Play-by-play announcer Joe Davis, analyst Brock Huard and reporter Bruce Feldman call the action once the Trojans and Utes kick off at 9:00 PM ET.

Tonight’s pregame show also includes a piece on Alex Llauro, an honorary member of the USC Trojans. An eighth grader, Llauro was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in 2011 and became an honorary Trojan over the summer. Also on the pregame show, Quinn returns to the Notre Dame campus to talk with quarterback Ian Book and head coach Brian Kelly in advance of the Fighting Irish’s matchup vs. Georgia over the weekend…

…NBC Sports Chicago has hired veteran Bulls/NBA beat reporter K.C. Johnson as its Bulls “Insider.” In this position, Johnson will join NBC Sports Chicago’s expert multi-platform content coverage team as the network’s primary Bulls contributor on a number of fan-focused digital portals including NBCSportsChicago.com, the MyTeams by NBC Sports app and Bulls Talk podcast. In addition, Johnson will also make regular on-air appearances throughout the season on Bulls Pregame Live and SportsTalk Live. The announcement was made by Kevin Cross, Senior Vice President/General Manager, NBC Sports Chicago.

“K.C. is without question one of the premier NBA journalists in the entire industry and has established himself in the Chicago market as the go-to source for every Bulls fan,” said Cross. “We’re extremely pleased to have K.C. join our team starting up this fall and we look forward to delivering his experienced insight to the passionate and dedicated Bulls fan base.”

“I’m excited to join the team at NBC Sports Chicago and NBCSportsChicago.com,” added Johnson. “With the network delivering exclusive, local coverage of all Bulls games for the first time and the website always open for business, it’s an exciting place to be and I’m very much looking forward to this fun and challenging new opportunity in my career.”

Johnson, a native of Evanston, Ill., comes to NBC Sports Chicago after spending the past 29 years at the Chicago Tribune. At the Tribune, Johnson began covering the Bulls in 1996 and became the publication’s primary Bulls beat reporter in 2000, which followed his brief stint covering the Blackhawks from 1998-2000. Johnson also covered the Bears during the 2005 NFL season. Johnson attended Beloit (Wis.) College where he played on the school’s Div. III basketball team, while also working as a sportswriter for the Beloit Daily News…

…Award-winning sports journalist Tim Layden has signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group to produce longform articles, major-event stories, and columns, as well as video work for NBC Sports’ television and digital platforms.

Throughout the year, Layden will seek out compelling and distinctive stories across the sports world with creative storytelling and in-depth analysis, building upon previous work that Layden has produced with NBC Sports. Over the past two years, Layden has written numerous video essays that have aired during marquee NBC Sports events, including the Kentucky Derby, Breeders’ Cup, Olympic sports, the NFL, NHL, and NASCAR.

“It’s been so rewarding to work with the incredible NBC Sports team on television essays for the past two years,” Layden said. “This is a terrific opportunity to expand my role with NBC Sports to include the type of writing and journalism that I’ve worked on for my entire career, and to extend it across the entire breadth of NBC Sports’ unparalleled multi-platform portfolio.”

Layden, a Williams College graduate, has spent the past 25 years as a senior writer with Sports Illustrated, covering 14 Olympic Games, 10 NCAA Final Fours, three Super Bowls and eight college football national championship games for SI. Originally a beat writer on college football, followed by the NFL, Layden was also responsible for SI’s coverage of horse racing, track & field, swimming and alpine skiing, and longform features on many topics and sports.

Prior to joining Sports Illustrated in 1994, Layden worked at the Schenectady Gazette (1978-1986), Albany Times Union (1986-1988) and Newsday (1988-1994). A native of upstate New York, Layden resides in Northern Connecticut with his wife, Janet.