NEW YORK – CBS golf broadcasters Peter Kostis and Gary McCord were recently dismissed by the network after nearly 30 years of golf coverage. The Emmy Award-winning Kostis spoke with Rick Young of ScoreGolf.com about the dismissal.
“I’m surprised Gary and I didn’t get the same loyalty other announcers have received who have worked for CBS for a long time,” said Kostis, ScoreGolf reported. “That’s my biggest surprise in this whole thing. I wasn’t sure if I was going to work beyond this current television contract (2021) but it would have been nice to have a year to go out and say goodbye to fans, say goodbye to sponsors, friends we’ve met in different locations. I thought it was a little bit disrespectful.”
CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus reportedly used the word “stale” to describe the golf coverage provided by Kostis, 72, and McCord, 71, which has been a staple of viewers’ weekends for decades. McManus also allegedly said that the network’s coverage “was moving in a different direction,” ScoreGolf reported.
“All we’ve really heard is, ‘We think it’s time, we need a change, things were stale.’ What was stale? ‘Well, the telecasts.’ Why is this the time now? ‘Well, it just is.’ They haven’t really given us any answers whatsoever on why we were let go,” Kostis told ScoreGolf.
“The timing and the reason for mine and Gary’s departure are the ongoing negotiations with a new television contract,” he continued. “That’s involved here. I don’t know how exactly or what it could be but I do believe the next television contract is going to be radically different. I don’t have any basis for saying that other than my gut instinct. I do know the tour is gearing up to be able to handle gambling. I think it’s one of the ways they’re hoping to grow their fan base with younger people,” ScoreGolf reported.
Davis Love III, 55, the 21-time PGA Tour winner, joins CBS Golf on January 25, and former Masters champion Trevor Immelman, 39, may also join the team, though no official announcement has been made for Immelman, ScoreGolf reported.
“There’s a fine line between familiarity and staleness. What we’ve been hearing over and over from fans since this happened is, ‘you guys are the voices of my weekends watching golf and we’ve grown to love it.’ There’s a familiarity for the viewers with the CBS team. Having said that, I don’t think it was the announcers that were stale. I believe the production has suffered over the last few years. That’s all I’m going to say. I’ll just leave it at that,” Kostis told ScoreGolf.
Besides spending more time at his Peter Kostis Learning Academy at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, Kostis is also planning a book. He told ScoreGolf, “It’s going to be swing and golf instruction but I am going to intertwine 30 years of stories from inside-the-ropes, talk about my 29 years at the Masters, times with Tiger [Woods], and my previous life with Sam Snead and some of the great people I’ve been around. Hopefully, I can mesh those stories with my philosophies on instruction.”
When asked about a possible return to TV if another network were to make an offer, Kostis told ScoreGolf, “that’s the tough part for me, being out there giving viewers a bit of insight into what might happen or what just happened or what options a player has in a particular situation. I’ve loved that. That’s what I’m going to miss the most.”
Among his famous students are Jack Nicklaus, Dan Marino, former President George Bush, and Kevin Costner, whom Kostis coached for the film Tin Cup. Kostis also appeared in a small role in the film.