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Sports Then and Now



The NFL Today – One of a Kind 2

Posted on May 24, 2020 by Dean Hybl

In the world of television and entertainment, every show likes to claim that it is unique and different, but the reality in a world where most programming follows successful formulas is that very few are actually unique and different. One program that was definitely unique and different was the CBS NFL Today Pregame football show that hit the airwaves in 1975.

In 1975 CBS reinvented the NFL pregame show with The NFL Today featuring Brent Musburger, Phyllis George and Irv Cross.

Officially, CBS began airing a pre-recorded pregame show called the NFL Today in 1961 and over the next decade and a half the pregame show had a number of iterations and hosts, including Johnny Lujack, Frank Gifford, Pat Summerall and Jack Whitaker. It also featured during 1970 a pair of groundbreaking women as journalist Marjorie Margolies, who would later serve as a member of congress, and actress Carole Howey were brought on-board to provide weekly features.

In 1974 CBS went to a wraparound pre and post game program known as The NFL on CBS that included a live pregame show hosted by Whitaker.

After one year of that formula, CBS went back to the name The NFL Today for their pre-game show in 1975 and ultimately created a formula that would prove to be magical.

Serving as the host for the new NFL Today program was veteran sports anchor and play-by-play announcer Brent Musburger. Musburger was the sports anchor at WBBM-TV in Chicago and also had become a play-by-play announcer for CBS’s NFL coverage in 1973. He would serve as the lead host for the program and anchor of the weekly half hour live broadcast (which actually for several years was three different live broadcasts aired for the different time zones).

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