February 25, 1951 |
Washington, D.C., U.S.
James Brown (born February 25, 1951), commonly called "J.B.", is an American sportscaster known for being the host of The NFL Today on CBS Sports and Thursday Night Football on CBS Sports and NFL Network. He is also the Special Correspondent for CBS' news division. He was also the former host of the FOX network's NFL pregame show, Fox NFL Sunday.
Born on February 25, 1951 in Washington, D.C. to John and Maryann Brown. Brown attended high school at DeMatha Catholic High School. Brown graduated from Harvard University with a degree in American Government. A standout on the basketball court, he received All-Ivy League honors in his last three seasons at Harvard University and captained the team in his senior year. His roommate at Harvard was the later Princeton University professor/philosopher/activist Cornel West.
After failing to make a roster spot when he tried out for the NBA's Atlanta Hawks in the mid 1970s, Brown entered the corporate world, working for such companies as Xerox and Eastman Kodak. Brown went into sports broadcasting in 1984 when he was offered a job doing Washington Bullets television broadcasts. He later moved on to an anchor position at WDVM-TV (later WUSA) in Washington and to some work at CBS Sports.  Brown first joined CBS Sports in 1987 where he served as play-by-play announcer for the network's NFL and college basketball coverage, as well as reporter for the NBA Finals. He also was host of the afternoon show from the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France and the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. While at CBS he also was co-host of CBS Sports Saturday/Sunday, a weekend anthology series.
In 1994, Brown accepted the position of host of the NFL on Fox pregame show. He shared the set with former football players Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long and former coach Jimmy Johnson. Cris Collinsworth and Ronnie Lott have also appeared on the program during Brown's time there.
From 1994–1998, Brown was the lead studio host for FOX NHL Saturday. He appeared in a similar capacity in the EA Sports video game NHL '97, which used full-motion video. His voice appeared in Madden NFL 2001.
Following the 2005 NFL season, Brown left Fox in order to rejoin CBS Sports. Brown cited a desire to remain closer to his home in Washington D C, an opportunity that existed at CBS, which broadcasts The NFL Today out of New York City. Fox NFL Sunday is produced in Los Angeles.
Brown was removed from college basketball coverage for CBS after a one year stint in 2007.
Brown also hosts the college basketball pregame, halftime and postgame in the CBS studios in New York City. Greg Gumbel is the main host but sometimes Brown fills in when Gumbel is on another assignment.
In 2012, following the murder-suicide by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher of his girlfriend, Brown opined on The NFL Today about the role men needed to take in the fight against domestic violence. He accused the league's players of letting the NFL's reputation for domestic violence go unchanged.
On September 11, 2014, in the wake of the Ray Rice domestic violence controversy, Brown again addressed the issue, wondering why in the two years since, nothing had been done to change the problem, and how the problem had actually become worse.
Brown has also hosted The World's Funniest! (the Fox network's counterpart of America's Funniest Home Videos), Coast to Coast (a syndicated radio show formerly hosted by Bob Costas), and served as a correspondent for Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. Brown appeared on an episode of Married...with Children in a November 24, 1996 episode titled "A Bundy Thanksgiving".
Aside from his Showtime and CBS duties, Brown hosted a weekday radio sports talk show that aired weekdays on Sporting News Radio for several years. Brown left the network in April 2006. He has since, returned to Sporting News Radio with Arnie Spanier.
Brown regularly appeared on the syndicated radio program, The Don and Mike Show.
Brown resides outside of Washington, D.C. in Bethesda, MD, his town of birth, with his wife Dorothy and daughter Katrina. He formerly had a second residence in Century City, California, when working on FOX as their NFL program was based in Los Angeles. He was also named one of the 100 most influential student athletes by the NCAA. He has three granddaughters and one grandson, born to his daughter, Katrina and her husband John. He attends Rhema Christian Center Church, the pastor is Rev. Givens.
On May 3, 2006, Brown became a minority owner of the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball team. Brown was one of a handful of investors in the group led by Washington, D.C. real estate developer Ted Lerner.