CBS Sports prez praises Clark Kellogg, misses Billy Packer
Clark Kellogg's initial season as the lead analyst for the NCAA Tournament last spring mostly was uneventful, offering none of the colorful unpredictability of infamous curmudgeon Billy Packer.
What did Kellogg's boss, Sean McManus, think of his first NCAAs alongside Jim Nantz?
"The transition, which can often be difficult, I think was pretty seamless. And I give credit to Jim and Clark and Bob Fishman and Bob Dekas, their producer and director, for making it seamless.
"I think Billy was in some ways a larger-than-life presence, both at CBS and in the college basketball community, and did a spectacular job for many, many years. A lot of people miss him. I miss him. I miss him at this [pre-NCAA] press conference, which every year managed to have some kind of – depending on the word you would use – incendiary or controversial or amusing element. But Billy always had something of great interest to say and I think that was an asset for us and an asset for the college basketball community.
"Having said that, I think Jim and Clark have very quickly developed into the best one-two team in college basketball. I think Clark has made the transition from the studio to the broadcast booth seamlessly, which is often not easy . . . Normally the two aren’t mixed. Clark has been one of the few individuals who has been able to do that.
"So I would say from my standpoint it is an unqualified success, but there is a presence that Billy had at this meeting and at our seminar and at early round games and at the Final Four that is certainly missed.
"It’s like John Madden. Cris Collinsworth is doing a great job [at NBC]. I think it’s a terrific broadcast. But you don’t replace a John Madden or a Billy Packer no matter who you replace him with. But there comes a time in everyone’s life when you have to make a transition. I think we made the transition at the right time and I think it’s been as seamless and as successful and as smooth as I could have hoped for."