He has been called one of the most recognized and prominent voices in the history of sports television. Brent Musburger is host and play-by-play commentator for multiple sports across ESPN and the SEC Networks and has had a distinguished career with CBS, ABC and ESPN, covering both professional and collegiate sports.
Brent attended Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism before joining the now defunct Chicago American newspaper, but his broadcast career began in 1968 as sports director at WBBM-TV in Chicago. He then moved to Los Angeles as co-anchor of the nightly news at KNXT-TV. Moving to CBS Sports in 1973, Musburger anchored virtually every top sporting event covered by that network during his career, spending 15 years as CBS Sports primary host and play-by-play commentator; working on The NFL Today, the NCAA Final Four, U.S. Open Tennis as well as the NBA and the Masters.
In May 1990, Musburger joined ABC Sports. His ABC/ESPN Bio says “Musburger has hosted and/or called play-by-play for the NBA, college football and basketball, golf, IRL races and the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He also hosted Super Bowl XXV’s pre-game and half-time shows as well as the 1991 Pan Am Games from Cuba. From 2006 to 2013 Musburger voiced Saturday Night Football on ABC, the first and only weekly prime time college football series on broadcast television when it originated (2006). Musburger also hosted NASCAR Nextel Cup races on ESPN and ABC.
Beginning in October 1992, Musburger also broadcast on ESPN Radio. He was the original host of daily ESPN SportsBeat segments of news, interviews and commentaries, which premiered in January 1993, and has called NBA play-by-play, including The NBA Finals.”
His honors include the 2011 National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame Outstanding Contributor to Amateur Football Award, as well as being named to the 2011 National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) Hall of Fame as well as the Montana Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Brent now primarily works college football and basketball game telecasts, as well as the SEC Network starting in 2014; and on ESPN’s Big 12 Big Monday college basketball games since the 2009-10 season. He previously called the Little League World Series from 2000-2011.
Brent Musburger’s connection to Montana is strong. Brent was born in Portland, Ore., but his family moved to Billings in 1941 when he was two. Musburger attended elementary and middle school in Billings before spending his high school years in Minnesota. As a young boy, he spent summers selling Billings Mustang’s programs and concessions in the stands at the old Cobb Field. Brent has been quoted as saying “This is where the great love of sports began… right here in Billings.” Musburger and wife Arlene now divide their time between homes in Hamilton and Jupiter, Fla.
The Greater Montana Foundation thanks Scripps and their Television stations throughout Montana for providing studio, production and edit facilities for the Legacy Broadcasters Initiative interviews. Without their generous support, this project would not have been possible.
The Legacy Project of the Greater Montana Foundation is produced in coordination with the Montana Historical Society. Many thanks to all who work and donate to MHS and its great work.