Plenty of people dream of being a sports announcer or a musician. Brent Stover lives both.
Already a top studio host at CBS Sports Network, the 42-year-old also is trying to carve out a niche as a country music singer/songwriter. New York City hardly is known for its country scene, but his Brent Stover Band is performing regular gigs across the city. Not a bad start for a guy who only learned to play the guitar 2 1/2 years ago.
“When I first came to New York in 2012, I was a bit of a fish out of water,” the Emporia, Kansas native said. “I loved my job, but my life outside of work… It was tough. So, I was looking for a hobby. I was either going to learn how to surf or play guitar.”
Stover chose the latter, and he believes it’s helped him adjust to life in the Big Apple after a lifetime in the Midwest. His band now performs its mix of cover songs and originals regularly at Wayland in the East Village and the Mason Jar on the east side, near where he lives. They recently played at Rockwood Music Hall, and they are lined up to be part of the “Spring Fling” at the Cutting Room in April.
“One minute I’m taking singing lessons, and writing some songs, and the next thing I’m playing shows all over the city,” Stover said. “It’s like a dream.”
Stover started his career in the sports broadcasting ranks after graduating from Kansas State, where he ran track, in 1998. He was doing regional work for Fox Sports, mostly covering the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates, when he landed a job with the Big Ten Network in Chicago. He moved to CBS Sports Network in 2010 and is now the host of "Inside College Basketball," which airs nightly throughout the college basketball season and the NCAA Tournament.
Though the CBS Sports Network job eventually brought Stover to New York full-time in 2012, he’s brought a bit of his home with him through his music. He cites country stars Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line and Brett Young as his influences.
“I’m definitely not quitting my day job,” Stover said with a laugh. “The CBS thing is a dream come true in its own right. I love my job and love what I’m doing. I’m blessed to be able to have time to follow my music dreams, and the folks at CBS have been incredibly supportive.”