Craig Bolerjack's new boss certainly seems enthusiastic about him. Sean McManus, the president of CBS Sports, said he personally has high hopes for the departing KSL-Ch. 5 sportscaster.
"I look at dozens of audition tapes and once in a while you hear and see someone who's going to break out of the pack," McManus said. "Craig fits into that group extremely well."Bolerjack is one of a group of play-by-play and color commentators CBS is bringing in to fill its college football and NFL broadcast booths this fall.
(He'll be replaced at KSL in late August by Tom Kirkland, a sportscaster who comes to Ch. 5 from the Fox Sports Net whose credits also include a stint at CNN.)
"We think Craig's a star of the future. We think he's going to do very well," McManus said.
MOSTLY COLLEGE: So, what exactly will Bolerjack be doing on CBS this fall? A lot of college football - and a little bit of NFL football.
Bolerjack is CBS's No. 2 play-by-play announcer for college football. Which means that any Saturday that the network telecasts more than one college game, Bolerjack will be on the air.
(Not that he'll be seen in Utah all those weeks. Many of CBS's broadcasts are split between various parts of the country, so some of the games he does will not be telecast on KUTV-Ch. 2.)
As to the NFL, Bolerjack will be sort of the No. 7 play-by-play man. Or No. 8 some weeks, which means he won't be on the air.
Seven of the 17 weeks during the season, CBS will air seven regional games.
"We're going to use the seventh game as an experiment to use a number people, and Craig is going to pick up some of that," McManus said.
Currently, CBS plans to have Bolerjack and Bill Macatee share those play-by-play duties, teaming with analyst John Dockery (an NBC refugee). But who gets what games has yet to be determined.
AS EXPECTED: Well, this is certainly no surprise. CBS has no interest in telecasting football games that feature the break-away league that's separating from the Western Athletic Conference in 1999. (The league that, of course, includes BYU and Utah.)
At least McManus was polite about his complete lack of interest.
"Probably not," he said. "We have an SEC commitment and a Big East commitment, and it's all we can do to service that. So probably not."
Not that the new league won't end up on television someplace. Sources at both ESPN/ABC and Fox Sports regional have indicated they are interested in the new league. The big question, of course, is how much they'll be willing to pay.
And that remains to be seen.