If you’re a regular viewer of the PGA Tour on CBS Sports, you probably have noticed two of the team’s key voices in the last 30 years have gone missing. You’ve probably found yourself asking: What happened to Peter Kostis and Gary McCord?
Peter Kostis and Gary McCord have been familiar voices on CBS Sports’ PGA Tour coverage for some 30 years each. However, their run at CBS Sports is over, with CBS choosing not to pick up the contract options both McCord and Kostis had with the network. They are not returning to the Eye Network’s PGA Tour broadcasts in 2020.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reported on his Facebook page on Oct. 26 both Kostis, who has been with CBS since 1992, and McCord, who has been on the team since 1986, are out of the CBS golf team.
“Gary and Peter have been an important part of our golf coverage for three decades,” said a CBS Sports representative in a statement to Ourand. “They were both outstanding teammates and we thank them for their significant contributions throughout the years. We wish them both all the best.”
Kostis had a two-year option remaining on his contract which CBS chose not to exercise, ending his 27-year tenure as an on-course analyst with the Konica Minolta BizHub Swing Vision camera, as well describing the action and player technique.
Kostis sent Ourand a statement on the matter, referring back to his golf broadcasting debut during the 1989 Ryder Cup for USA Network. The long-time instructor plans on returning to his roots and teaching golf.
He has been working with an over-the-top golf instruction service to roll out content, and he continues to count Paul Casey among his top-tier pupils. Kostis said he had been giving thought to pursuing a reduced travel schedule in the final two years of his contract, had his option been exercised. CBS broadcasts the overwhelming bulk of domestic PGA Tour weekend rounds, making for a hectic schedule from January through August for their team. NBC Sports takes over part of February and throughout March before CBS takes the PGA Tour into the FedEx Cup playoffs. CBS also broadcasts the Masters and PGA Championship.
McCord was not thrilled about his departure from CBS Sports, and he’s spoken so publicly.
The departures of Kostis and McCord left a gaping hole in the CBS Sports golf team. Ultimately, CBS chose to hire Davis Love III as a new lead analyst and on-course reporter. They brought in Mark Immelman and Trevor Immelman to work more dates. Frank Nobilo has become a full-time part of the CBS Sports team, leaving Golf Channel. Andrew Catalan has replaced Bill Macatee as the alternate anchor when Nantz is unavailable.
CBS has been cutting budget from golf this year, forcing a number of long-time behind-the-scenes crew members into buyouts and retirements. Removing Kostis and McCord could be seen as another cost-cutting move. The question was why. With the PGA Tour in the process of taking bids and proposals for its weekend package starting with the 2021-2022 season when Kostis and McCord were let go, it was expected CBS and/or NBC will continue to be a significant TV partner. A shake-up was a likely condition to move forward. Nonetheless, changing out names and faces in the interest of saving money won’t fix the underlying problems golf fans have with the CBS product, including too many commercial breaks, not enough golf action and a lack of respect for the details of the golf tournament.