After numerous layoffs and program restructuring during the course of the last 12 months, the face of ESPN and their NFL coverage since 1987, Chris Berman, was left without a role. This past weekend, however, ESPN announced Chris Berman will return for a Sunday night edition of NFL PrimeTime following the Conference Championship games this weekend.
“Just mentioned on @ESPNNFL: Chris Berman and [Tom Jackson] will reunite on NFL PrimeTime [with Keyshawn Johnson] after the Conference Championship games next Sunday,” tweeted Bill Hofheimer, Senior Director of Communications for ESPN.
Still employed by ESPN, Boomer provided play-by-play for the early round of the Major League Baseball Playoffs on ESPN Radio, but needed to adjust to having so much free time in the fall. Berman was invited by friends to their annual golf trip in Ireland near the beginning of the NFL season.
“They said, ‘Are you interested?'” Berman said in a September interview with NFL.com. “I said, ‘I can’t even compute the question. I worked 40 Septembers in a row. I don’t even know what you’re asking.’ It’s really not about me dealing with withdrawal. It’s just a coincidence that it was the first Sunday of the season.”
As Hofheimer tweeted, Berman will be joined by longtime ESPN partner Tom Jackson who retired from ESPN in 2016. Boomer and Jackson were on NFL PrimeTime from 1987-2005 as well as ESPN pregame shows, Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown until 2016.
Keyshawn Johnson, who hosts a morning radio show on ESPN Los Angeles, will also be a part of Sunday night’s NFL PrimeTime. Johnson joined ESPN in 2007 and left Sunday NFL Countdown in 2016.
No word as to whether or not the Championship Sunday edition of NFL Primetime could be a precursor to more NFL coverage from Berman and Jackson in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.