It's official: John Madden will join Al Michaels in the ABC Monday Night
Football booth this coming fall.
Both Dan Fouts and Dennis Miller are out after two years in the booth. Miller
was an experiment -- 'outside the box,' as Michaels put it in a teleconference
with reporters earlier Thursday.
ABC Television president Alex Wallau called Madden and Michaels the 'dream
team' of sports-announcing teams.
ABC Sports president Howard Katz said he believes Fouts will have a
continuing role at the network, and conversations with the former quarterback
continue. Miller will not, given other commitments, such as his Home Box Office
Michaels called Madden the 'gold standard' of sports analysts.
Madden acknowledged that part of the reason why he wanted to move to ABC at
this time was that his 21-year partner in the broadcasting booth, Pat Summerall,
called his last game in the Fox booth at this year's Super Bowl.
'That was part of it,' he added. 'I was going to be working with a new
partner, and Al Michaels is the best. You can't beat that.'
Madden's agent asked Fox to let him out of the last year of his contract
earlier in the week. Fox agreed Wednesday morning and, roughly seven hours
later, Madden had an agreement in principal with ABC, Madden said.
Officials wouldn't say whether Madden would earn more, less or the same
reported $8 million per year salary he earned at Fox.
'This isn't about money' was all Madden would say on the subject, adding that
MNF is where he'd like to wrap up his career. He also noted that he could
have extended his deal with Fox for another three years.
Katz noted that ABC will get more bang for its buck out of Madden because
he'll be doing things (as yet unspecified) for ESPN, as well.
In addition, the other networks have seven regional games to cover each
Sunday afternoon, versus one game for ABC on Monday night.