James Brown (sportscaster)

James Brown (sportscaster)

James Brown
Born (1951-02-25) February 25, 1951
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Occupation Sportscaster
Spouse(s) Dorothy
Children Katrina

James Brown (born February 25, 1951), commonly called "J.B.", is an American sportscaster known for being the host of The NFL Today on CBS Sports and Thursday Night Football on CBS Sports and NFL Network. He is also the Special Correspondent for CBS' news division. He was also the former host of the FOX network's NFL pregame show, Fox NFL Sunday.


  • Early life 1
  • CBS 2
  • FOX, and back to CBS 3
  • Other appearances 4
  • Career timeline 5
  • Personal life 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life

Born on February 25, 1951 in Washington, D.C. to John and Maryann Brown. Brown attended high school at DeMatha Catholic High School. Brown 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 Princeton University professor/philosopher/activist Cornel West.[1]


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. He later moved on to an anchor position at WDVM-TV (later WUSA) in Washington and to some work at CBS Sports.[2] Brown first joined 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. 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

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.

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. Greg Gumbel is the main host but sometimes Brown fills in when Gumbel is on another 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

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, James Brown was named the Community Ambassador for AARP.[3][4]

On Aug. 10, 2009, Brown interviewed NFL quarterback Michael Vick for a segment that aired on 60 Minutes Aug. 16.[5]

On March 24, 2013 Brown reported on Brian Banks in a segment titled "Blindsided: The Exoneration of Brian Banks" on 60 Minutes.[6]

On May 14, 2013, Brown appeared onstage with co-CEO of SAP, Bill McDermott, for Bill's keynote speech at SAPPHIRE NOW from Orlando.[7]

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

Career timeline

Personal life

Brown resides outside of Washington, D.C. in Bethesda, MD, 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. He attends Rhema Christian Center Church, the pastor is Rev. Givens.

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. ^ Cornel West, "Living and Loving Out Loud," 63.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ 'James 'J.B.' Brown Joins AARP as New Community Ambassador'
  4. ^ 'James Brown AARP Community Ambassador'
  5. ^ '60 Minutes' to air Michael Vick interview this Sunday - The Huddle - USATODAY.com
  6. ^ CBS News, 60 Minutes, Blindsided: The Exoneration of Brian Banks, March 24, 2013
  7. ^ SAP Keynote: Bill McDermott & Bob Calderoni - Orlando 2013, May 14, 2013
  8. ^ NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA, Fantasy Sports News - CBSSports.com Live Scores, Stats, Schedules

External links

  • Jaffe, Harry. "James Brown: Making Mama Proud", Washingtonian, December 1, 2008.
  • Lerner Picked as Nationals New Owner
  • Issue 44 -- Television Sportscasters (African-American)
  • Fox's Brown Will Leave to Be CBS's N.F.L. Host
  • Brown Leaving Fox's Pregame for CBS
  • James Brown is switching jerseys.
  • Official CBS news release.
  • James Brown at the Internet Movie Database
  • James Brown's Articles on AARP.org