CBS' Brown Has a New Bag

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CBS Sports’ James Brown hopes his guest-host stints for the network’s Saturday Early Show won’t be his last chance to moonlight in the news division.

"I have always viewed myself as being a well-rounded person with interest beyond sports," he tells B&C.

A news role wasn’t part of the deal when he left Fox for CBS a year ago to host The NFL Today and cover NCAA basketball, Brown says. But he certainly had it in mind, particularly with CBS Sports chief Sean
McManus heading up the news division, too.

"Knowing that CBS has a number of different venues, that certainly was attractive to me," he says. "I mentioned at the time I had interest in doing other things, and to possibly include some news."

But Brown admits he was surprised to get a call from the Early Show, which has wanted to replace Russ Mitchell since he moved to weekdays. Brown had imagined filling in one day as anchor on the Evening News, but he likes the idea of the more personality-driven morning show.

As it is, he’s juggling a heavy workload. Along with his day job at CBS, he is a regular on HBO’s Real Sports, and he just shot a sports-themed special on infant development called Baby Madness set to air this spring on Discovery Health. Even if his four Early Show tryouts go well, a full-time gig may not work.

Says Brown, "That’s something I would have to think about in terms of schedule and quality of life."