James Brown (sportscaster)

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James Brown
James Brown (sportscaster).jpg
Brown in 2000.
James Talmadge Brown

(1951-02-25) February 25, 1951 (age 70)
Washington, D.C., United States
Other namesJ.B.
OccupationSportscaster, sport correspondent

James Talmadge Brown[1] (born February 25, 1951), commonly called "J.B.", is an American sportscaster known for being the studio host of The James Brown Show, The NFL Today on CBS Sports, and Thursday Night Football on CBS Sports and NFL Network. He is also a Special Correspondent for CBS News. He is also known for serving as the former host of Fox Sports' NFL pregame show Fox NFL Sunday for eleven years.

Early life[edit]

James Brown was born on February 25, 1951 in Washington, D.C. to John and Maryann Brown. He attended high school at DeMatha Catholic High School, and later graduated from Harvard University with a degree in American Government. A standout on the basketball court, he received All-Ivy League honors in his last three seasons at Harvard University and captained the team in his senior year. His roommate at Harvard was future Harvard University professor/philosopher/activist Cornel West.[2]

Broadcasting career[edit]

CBS (1970s–1994)[edit]

After failing to make a roster spot when he tried out for the NBA's Atlanta Hawks in the mid 1970s, Brown entered the corporate world, working for such companies as Xerox and Eastman Kodak. Brown went into sports broadcasting in 1984 when he was offered a job doing Washington Bullets television broadcasts as well as an analyst job for The NBA on CBS, paired with Frank Glieber. He later moved on to an anchor position at WDVM-TV (later WUSA) in Washington and to some work at CBS Sports.[3] Brown was rehired by CBS Sports in 1987, where he served as play-by-play announcer for the network's NFL and college basketball coverage, as well as reporter for the NBA Finals (calling games with Tom Heinsohn during the 1990 NBA Playoffs) and the 1990 National League Championship Series. He also was host of the afternoon show from the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France and the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. While at CBS he also was co-host of CBS Sports Saturday/Sunday, a weekend anthology series.

Fox, and back to CBS (1994–present)[edit]

In 1994, Brown accepted the position of host of the NFL on Fox pregame show. He shared the set with former football players Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long and former coach Jimmy Johnson. Cris Collinsworth and Ronnie Lott have also appeared on the program during Brown's time there.

From 19941998, Brown was the lead studio host for FOX NHL Saturday. He appeared in a similar capacity in the EA Sports video game NHL '97, which used full-motion video. His voice appeared in Madden NFL 2001. On August 23, 1997, Brown filled-in for Chip Caray as the studio host for Fox Saturday Baseball.[4]

Following the 2005 NFL season, Brown left Fox in order to rejoin CBS Sports. Brown cited a desire to remain closer to his home in Washington, D.C., an opportunity that existed at CBS, which broadcasts The NFL Today out of New York City. Fox NFL Sunday is produced in Los Angeles.

Brown was removed from college basketball coverage for CBS after a one-year stint in 2007. However, he still hosts the college basketball pregame, halftime and postgame in the CBS studios in New York City while Greg Gumbel, the main host, is on assignment.

In 2012, following the murder-suicide by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher of his girlfriend, Brown opined on The NFL Today about the role men needed to take in the fight against domestic violence. He accused the league's players of letting the NFL's reputation for domestic violence go unchanged.

On September 11, 2014, in the wake of the Ray Rice domestic violence controversy, Brown again addressed the issue, wondering why in the two years since, nothing had been done to change the problem, and how the problem had actually become worse.

Other appearances[edit]

Brown has also hosted The World's Funniest! (the Fox network's counterpart of America's Funniest Home Videos), Coast to Coast (a syndicated radio show formerly hosted by Bob Costas), and served as a correspondent for Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. Brown appeared on an episode of Married... with Children in a November 24, 1996 episode titled "A Bundy Thanksgiving".

Aside from his Showtime and CBS duties, Brown hosted a weekday radio sports talk show that aired weekdays on Sporting News Radio for several years. Brown left the network in April 2006. He has since, returned to Sporting News Radio with Arnie Spanier.

Brown regularly appeared on the syndicated radio program, The Don and Mike Show.

In March 2009, Brown was named the Community Ambassador for AARP.[5][6]

On August 10, 2009, Brown interviewed NFL quarterback Michael Vick for a segment that aired on 60 Minutes.[7]

On March 24, 2013, Brown reported on Brian Banks in a segment titled "Blindsided: The Exoneration of Brian Banks" on 60 Minutes.[8]

On May 14, 2013, Brown appeared onstage with the co-CEO of SAP, Bill McDermott, for McDermott's keynote speech at SAPPHIRE NOW from Orlando.[9]

On February 14, July 28-August 1, 2014, December 22–23, 2014, and November 23, 2018, Brown hosted the CBS Evening News covering for Scott Pelley and later Jeff Glor. Brown has also contributed for CBS This Morning, as well as CBS Sunday Morning.

On October 30, 2016, Brown made a guest appearance on CBS' political drama series Madam Secretary.

Career timeline[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Brown resides outside of Washington, D.C. in Bethesda, Maryland, his town of birth, with his wife Dorothy and daughter Katrina. He formerly had a second residence in Century City, California, when working on FOX as their NFL program was based in Los Angeles. He was also named one of the 100 most influential student athletes by the NCAA. He has three granddaughters and one grandson, born to his daughter, Katrina and her husband John. Brown is a Christian.

On May 3, 2006, Brown became a minority owner of the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball team. Brown was one of a handful of investors in the group led by Washington, D.C. real estate developer Ted Lerner.


  1. ^ UPI (December 6, 1970), "Browns Spark Ivy League", Terre Haute Tribune-Star, p. 48
  2. ^ Cornel West, "Living and Loving Out Loud", 63.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ MLB on FOX - 1997 - Yankees vs Mariners on YouTube
  5. ^ 'James 'J.B.' Brown Joins AARP as New Community Ambassador'
  6. ^ 'James Brown AARP Community Ambassador'
  7. ^ '60 Minutes' to air Michael Vick interview this Sunday - The Huddle - USATODAY.com Archived 2009-08-13 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ CBS News, 60 Minutes, Blindsided: The Exoneration of Brian Banks, March 24, 2013
  9. ^ SAP Keynote: Bill McDermott & Bob Calderoni - Orlando 2013, May 14, 2013
  10. ^ NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA, Fantasy Sports News - CBSSports.com Live Scores, Stats, Schedules Archived 2008-05-18 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]