Last month, Clay Travis of FOX Sports reported that Verne Lundquist would step down as the lead announcer of the SEC on CBS after the 2016 season. He stated that Brad Nessler would depart ESPN, and shift over to CBS where he’d replace Lundquist, and also call some NFL games on the network.
Today, it’s been confirmed that Travis’ information was accurate. CBS has announced that Lundquist will depart, and Nessler will step in.
“Being a part of the SEC on CBS since 2000 has been the most significant assignment I’ve been given in my more than five decades in this business,” Lundquist said in a prepared statement. “Now, it’s time to step back and take in the aroma of those tulips, those roses, and those daffodils that friends have been telling me about for years.”
Lundquist, is not venturing into retirement though. The voice of the “SEC on CBS” since 2000, he’ll continue to call regular-season college basketball, the NCAA Tournament and golf, including the Masters and the PGA Championship.
“Verne has set the standard for college football broadcasting,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said in a statement. “Together with Gary Danielson he has played a key role in making the SEC ON CBS the highest-rated college football package in America.”
Brad Nessler will take over for Lundquist in 2017 as lead announcer for the “SEC on CBS,” joining analyst Gary Danielson and reporter Allie LaForce. He will call select SEC games for the network during the 2016 season.
Nessler moves to CBS after twenty four years with ESPN. He started with the network in 1992, and added ABC assignments in 1997. He most recently called ESPN’s College Football Primetime game on Saturday evenings and the College Football Playoff semifinals.
“After an incredible 17 years, Verne will be handing the reigns off to Brad, who in his own right is highly acclaimed and respected as one of the premier play-by-play broadcasters in the business,” McManus said. “I am very pleased that Verne will still have a prominent role in our college basketball and major championship golf coverage. We are fortunate to have one more football season to appreciate Verne’s one-of-a-kind storytelling as we pave the way for a seamless and smooth transition to Brad.”
“Verne is a legend in this business,” Danielson said in the release. “I am extremely thankful to have had the opportunity to sit next to him for the past decade calling SEC games and so grateful that Verne gets to finish his football career calling the last play the way he wanted. I am thrilled with the news that my former partner will join us in 2017. I look forward to picking up right where we left off.”