ESPN is facing a huge shakeup in their college basketball department. Already losing Hubert Davis to the UNC coaching staff, Bristol lost another of their key college basketball contributors today - Doug Gottlieb. Gottlieb is leaving ESPN for a multi-layered position at CBS Sports, the network announced today in confirming a report from The Big Lead. Gottlieb also announced the move on his Twitter account.
Many thanks for 10 amazing years that changed my life forever at— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) July 31, 2012
#ESPN, but I have chosen to pursue new opportunities at CBS
Not only was Gottlieb one of ESPN's top college basketball analysts, he was a presence across several platforms. Perhaps most important is his role as the late afternoon national host on ESPN Radio. The former Oklahoma State point guard also filled in periodically for Mike & Mike, The Herd, and ESPN's litany of debate shows when need be. He was a big presence on SportsCenter as well.
Gottlieb's another domino to fall in the wave of free agents to leave Bristol, but ESPN has acted quickly to fill his shoes. In what turned out to be a preemptive strike, ESPN got in front of the Gottlieb news by announcing two new additions to their college bball talent pool yesterday.
Former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl and former Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg are Bristol's newest college basketball analysts. Also, ESPN is transitioning NBA analyst Jalen Rose to the college game, where he'll star on College Gameday and fill the void left by Davis. All three will work as game and studio analysts and appear across the "family of networks."
This is an example of ESPN's dominance over the sports landscape. Lose one analyst, add two more. Given their outspokenness, Pearl and Greenberg seem like they would be naturals in the move to the TV side. ESPN should have no problem replacing Gottlieb on the TV side, it's the radio side where his absence will be most felt. It bears watching who ESPN taps for that late afternoon/early evening slot between Scott Van Pelt and Hill & Schlereth. But as always, ESPN will reload and move on.
These series of moves is much more about CBS Sports than it is ESPN. CBS is betting heavily on Doug Gottlieb. Gottlieb will call games and appear in the studio for CBS's NCAA coverage, including the NCAA Tournament. He'll be one of the flagship shows when the national CBS Sports Radio network launches in January. He'll host his own show on CBS Sports Network. And, he'll pen columns for CBSSports.com. That's quite the list of responsibilities.
Gottlieb is the second big name to be plucked from ESPN by CBS joining Jim Rome earlier this year. Rome has been the flagship addition for CBS Sports Network, but as we've chronicled before, he has little reinforcements at the network. Gottlieb is the first step to changing that. CBS Sports Network is well behind even NBC Sports Network in viewership and distribution, so the network will have to be patient in seeing if both Rome and Gottlieb can eventually build an audience.
Overall, the move is a solid one for CBS. Gottlieb can add an edge to their regular sesason college basketball coverage that would provide a nice balance to the underrated work of Seth Davis and Greg Anthony. As far as the booth goes, I'd expect Gottlieb to slot in on the 4th NCAA Tournament team with Kevin Harlan (and possibly Reggie Miller) behind the established duos of Nantz/Kellogg, Marv/Kerr, and Verne/Raftery.
It's a beginning step for the CBS Sports network/cable/radio empire to establish themselves nationally, but a step forward nonetheless.
Personally, I've always liked Gottlieb and he'll be missed on the west coast....he's one of the few ESPN guys that actually knew anything substantial about the left coast....and I think that's why people didn't like him. He'd make predictions about a team like San Diego State (where his brother coached) beating a power team....and the power team's fans would go nuts about it....even after it became true, they'd dislike him for it.
I'm always interesting to read Gottlieb's bio. They always leave out the year he spent at Notre Dame. He wasn't a good guy at ND and I'm sure he hasn't changed. I always felt that when he talked about the Irish he never had anything good say no matter how good they are playing. I don't watch the CBS Sports Network so wont have to worry about seeing him until the last month of the season on the main CBS Network.
@rays1969 That's bologne...it's mentioned all the time. He even talks about it, and also talks about his immaturity while at Notre Dame....but to say he hasn't changed is showing your axe grinding away. Also, even though he's always been very apologetic and humble when discussing his incident at Notre Dame, most people know there was a lot more to the story...he didn't go out looking stealing credit cards....his roommate wasn't exactly honest about everything.....
never liked gottlieb. however his replacements arent any better. the problem when you hire former coaches is their door is always open. gottlieb was at espn for 10 years. pearl and greenberg might not be there 10 months. at any time either can be signed to a college or pro team.
Gottlieb is horrible and whenI am dying to listen to some sports on my afternoon drive, always being stuck with Gottlieb as my only option has been a daily source of pain for several years. I am so happy he's leaving. Anything ESPN gets to replace him has to be an improvement (save for Screamin' A Smith). Gottlieb was beyond annoying and at least on CBS, he can only annoy me one month a year, rather than 12. A definite net gain for ESPN.
Gottlieb has gotten much better in recent years. He used to be the annoying guy throwing out flamboyant opinions simply to get attention; or at least that's how I viewed him. In the last few years he's not backed down from those opinions, but he's toned them down a bit and building arguments rather than just yelling. Which is what Pearl will probably do for a while. Another reason to not watch ESPN. I appreciate thoughtful commentary, which is why College GameDay for football is so good.
Good luck to Doug. If he takes the lessons learned at ESPN and builds on them, he'll do great. As good as he's become, he was still replaceable. I think the guy that ESPN would have true trouble replacing as far as quality is concerned is Jay Bilas. As far as I'm concerned, he's the best college basketball analyst in the business.