Calling it “the hardest decision” he ever made, Doug Gottlieb has left the security of ESPN for a multiyear deal with CBS, the CBS Sports Network and the new CBS Sports Radio Network.
“Frankly, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” Gottlieb said Tuesday after CBS Sports announced his arrival.
Gottlieb’s plum assignment will be covering the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and the former Oklahoma State point guard is expected to have a major role in Final Four coverage.
“To be part of the NCAA Tournament is any broadcaster’s dream,” Gottlieb said. “To be part of the Final Four, in basketball that’s what you play for. In broadcasting, that’s what you broadcast for.”
He also will be going home. His radio and TV shows will be based out of the Los Angeles suburb of Orange County, where he grew up and his parents still live. Gottlieb, 36, made his broadcasting debut with the Sports Animal radio network before joining ESPN in 2002. As a college basketball expert, he moved up steadily in the network and was given his own radio show, displaying his overall sports expertise.
Among the CBS platforms that Gottlieb will be featured on are:
— Hosting an afternoon show (2-5 p.m. CDT) on CBS Sports Radio, a new national network that debuts Jan. 2. Reaching an audience of nearly 10 million listeners, it will be heard across nearly 90 CBS Radio and Cumulus Media radio stations.
“Doug is well-versed in today’s sports landscape and for years has entertained audiences with his unique blend of wit, honesty and outspokenness — traits essential for creating great radio programming,” said Dan Mason, president and CEO of CBS Radio in a news release.
— Serving as a studio and game analyst for CBS Sports’ coverage of regular-season college basketball and joint coverage with Turner Sports of the NCAA basketball tournament.