‘The Tony Barnhart Show' On CBS
Barnhart, entering his 33rd year of covering college football spent 24 of those at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution before stepping away from his full-time position. His daily blog "Mr. College Football" is still featured on ajc.com. Brian Jones, former University of Texas and NFL linebacker will be the studio analyst dissecting the news of college football with the host.
"Tony will have a wide brush painting pretty much what he wants on the canvas. He still has a great following not only in the South but throughout the country," said Mike Aresco, Executive Vice-President, Programming, CBS Sports. "He'll do one-on-ones with coaches before big games of the upcoming week. He'll do segments of his own to start the beginning of the show with editorials of what he is thinking about and what he's seen in college football."
College coaches, administrators, conference commissioners, former players, broadcasters, writers and representatives from the BCS Championship Series will be gracing the show's guest list throughout the year. But that's not everyone. The head of officiating, individuals from the entertainment world and politics will add to the eclectic group of potential visitors. "Any number of guests who will have something significant to say about college football will be invited. I think it's going to be the kind of a show a college football fan will not want to miss," said Aresco who will serve as Executive Producer.
The premiere show illustrates the broad spectrum of voices as first guest Senator Orrin Hatch will be interviewed via satellite. A political figure from the Western Athletic Conference state of Utah, he is interested in the configuration of the BCS Championship Series. The less than full-fledged inclusion of every conference into the BCS equation has prompted the Senator to review anti-trust laws. Heavyweights Pete Carroll of USC and Ohio State's Jim Tressel will preview their September 12th intersectional game which will have significant ramifications for college football's axis of power.
"It's going to be a little different. It's not meant to be glitzy," declared Aresco. "It will have features and different aspects to it. We will have some celebrity guests. The purpose is to have a little fun but also to get some outstanding commentary and in-depth analysis. We want to have an entertaining show but one that also satisfies the real college football fan - the person who's looking for intelligent commentary and argument."
Additional features will supplement the core principles of the show, examining contemporary issues on and off-the-field along with interviewing relevant guests. "We will listen to fan feedback and I think we will listen to everybody and in the end the one thing we're not here is arrogant at all. We don't think we know anymore than the fans and if people give us feedback, we're going to listen to it. You come up with some great ideas that way. You get to know what people are thinking," confided Aresco about the evolutionary nature of the show's content.
Taping of the show will be done every Tuesday during the late afternoon or early evening to include late breaking news. Episodes will re-air throughout the week on the CBS College Sports Network. Extending the show past December to explore recruiting and off-season developments will hinge on the ratings success.
"This is a show for fans that really love college football and want a little more than what they are getting especially during the week. I don't think the interest in college football and all the controversies ends on Saturday night," Aresco surmised. Hosted by Tony Barnhart, one of the region's distinguished journalists, the show is a natural progression for a network committed for the next 15 years to the Southeastern Conference.
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