Longtime sportscaster Bob Costas joins CNN as contributor

CNN announced on Monday that longtime sportscaster Bob Costas is joining the network as a contributor.

The news arrives days before the scheduled restart of the MLB season and resumption of NBA play.

“Bob Costas is a legendary, respected voice across the spectrum of sports and beyond,” CNN president and Jeff Zucker wrote in a statement. “As the world continues to change amid the coronavirus pandemic, we are confident that Bob’s insightful analysis will help our viewers better understand what the future holds as the sports and teams we love evolve to meet this moment.”

Costas joins CNN as the COVID-19 pandemic and racial reckoning in the aftermath of George Floyd’s homicide have magnified the intersection of sports, news and politics.

Zucker and Costas worked together when Zucker was an executive at NBC. He left his post as president and CEO of NBCUniversal in 2010 prior to joining CNN in 2013.

Bob Costas joins CNN as the intersection of news, sports and politics is increasingly magnified. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Costas’ falling out with NBC

Costas officially left NBC in 2019 after a longtime role as the face of the network’s sports coverage. He took on a reduced role later in his stint that once included hosting NBC’s Olympics coverage and covering Super Bowls, NBA Finals, World Series and Triple Crown races.

Costas had been with NBC since 1979 and left two years before his contract was set to expire in 2021. He said it 2019 that the terms of his departure were settled “more than fairly.”

Costas became increasingly vocal about the connection between football and brain damage and said after leaving NBC that executives removed him from coverage of Super Bowl LII in 2018 because of it.

Costas has made recent appearances on CNN, with anchor Don Lemon hinting at an official partnership with the network when Costas joined him on July 8 to talk about former NBA player Stephen Jackson’s anti-Semitic comments.

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