Thursday, April 18, 2013

CBS issues error-filled press release on historic Masters TV announcers

Last week, CBS issued a press information guide on the Masters. That site contains a section on Masters history and one of the links points to an document purporting to list the year-by-year CBS-TV announcers for the Masters going back to 1956. Back in 2005, CBS had issued an earlier version of such an announcer listing. Some years ago, I compared my own independently performed research to the listings in the 2005 CBS press release and found numerous discrepancies.

The 2013 version contains a few changes from the previous one, but outside of adding the years since 2005, the updated release isn't all that different from the original.

I have no idea what research methods or sources CBS used to compile this list, but it contains so many obvious mistakes that one would be hard-pressed to take it seriously. What an embarrassing press release by CBS!

Here is a summary of the most blatant errors in the latest CBS announcer document:

  • The listings for 1975-1978 inexplicably do not include Vin Scully even though he was the lead CBS announcer on those telecasts. For proof, CBS could simply view the footage it re-aired from three of these tournaments on the Jim Nantz Remembers Augusta series which featured Scully covering the 18th hole each time.
  • Jack Whitaker was banned by Augusta after referring to the fans as a "mob" during the 1966 tournament and was not reinstated until 1972. Despite this well-documented fact, the CBS release incorrectly shows Whitaker working each of the interim years.
  • The listed announcers for 1967 are completely wrong. Due to an AFTRA strike, that telecast was handled by a set of CBS management personnel and a few Augusta National members, not the CBS golf talent.
  • For 1960, it incorrectly claims that Chris Schenkel was the 18th hole announcer with Jim McKay on 17 and does not list Art Wall. This directly contradicts the footage from the 1960 Masters telecast which CBS re-aired on the 2007 edition of Jim Nantz Remembers Augusta. That footage clearly had McKay on 18 and had Wall as an analyst. Schenkel didn't even appear on that special.
  • The listing for 1986 does not include Gary McCord who definitely worked the tournament that year (and was on hole 14). Of course, CBS (perhaps instructed by Augusta) went out of its way to edit out any audio or mention of McCord when it replayed footage from this tournament during the 2006 edition of Jim Nantz Remembers Augusta. The CBS release shows hole-by-hole assignments and doesn't list anyone for the 14th.
  • The CBS release lists Ray Scott from 1975-1978. Scott no longer worked for CBS at that time.
  • It lists Jay Randolph from 1969-1978. Randolph worked for NBC at that time.
  • It lists Frank Gifford from 1972-1978. Gifford worked for ABC at that time.
  • It lists McKay from 1962-1965. McKay worked for ABC at that time.
  • It lists Ed Ingles, Jim Kelly, and Nick Seitz for a few years. They never worked the Masters on TV, but instead called the event on CBS radio.

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