Press Release back to list
08.31.2021

CBS SPORTS’ LEGENDARY DIRECTOR BOB FISHMAN TO RETIRE IN 2022 AFTER 50 YEARS AT THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK

Veteran Director Mark Grant to Succeed Fishman as Lead College Basketball Director

Trailblazing Director Suzanne Smith Elevated to Network’s No. 2 NFL Team


Legendary CBS Sports director Bob Fishman, who has directed nearly every sport televised by the Network, will retire following the 2022 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship after 50 years at CBS. The announcement was made today by Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports.

Fishman, who joined CBS News in 1972, moved to Sports in 1975. He has been the lead director on college basketball since 1982, and serves as the No. 2 director on the NFL.

As part of the announcement, CBS Sports veteran director Mark Grant will succeed Fishman as the Network’s lead director for college basketball, including the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Grant will partner with lead producer Mark Wolff starting with the 2022-23 season and will team with announcers Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, Grant Hill and Tracy Wolfson on the Men’s NCAA Tournament. Grant joined CBS Sports in 1998 as a director and has worked on the NFL, college football, college basketball and golf throughout his tenure.

Trailblazing director Suzanne Smith has been elevated to direct CBS Sports’ No. 2 NFL team, working with Ian Eagle, Charles Davis and Evan Washburn with Wolff producing, beginning in 2022. Smith joined CBS Sports in 1983 as a broadcast associate. She is currently the only woman directing NFL games.

“If there were a Mount Rushmore for sports directors, Bob Fishman would be front and center; he is one of the greatest directors in the history of sports television,” said McManus. “While most viewers may not know his name, they are certainly familiar with his work as he has delivered some of the most iconic moments in sports over the past 40 years. Through his creativity, innovation and ability to perfectly capture the emotion of the moment, Bob has set the standard across the industry and created a legacy that will last for generations. There will never be another Bob Fishman. We thank him for all his outstanding contributions to CBS and wish him all the best in retirement.”

Some of the indelible moments associated with Fishman include Michael Jordan’s title-winning shot in the 1982 NCAA Basketball Championship game, Tonya Harding crying with her broken laces at the Olympics in Lillehammer in 1994, Jimmy Valvano running around the court in 1983 looking to hug someone after his North Carolina State team beat Houston, Joe Carter’s walk-off home run in the 1993 World Series, Kris Jenkins’ Championship-winning shot in 2016, Gordon Hayward’s shot off the rim that would have beat Duke in the 2010 Championship game, Keith Smart’s NCAA buzzer-beater in the 1987 NCAA title game and the in-car camera shots in auto racing, as he helped introduce those cameras at Daytona in 1982.

McManus on Grant and Smith, “Mark and Suzanne are two of the most gifted and creative directors in sports. Suzanne’s talents are unmatched as she is equally outstanding directing live events, studio shows or taped programming and is highly respected by all who work with her. She is a pioneer and a wonderful leader and mentor to many across the industry.”

McManus continued, “Mark is a true maestro when it comes to capturing the drama and excitement at events he is directing. He is a great leader and collaborator, who is never afraid to take risks and has set the standard for innovative directing. Suzanne and Mark would be trusted with any assignment at CBS Sports, and we are thrilled they will play leading roles in our NFL and college basketball coverage.”       

While Fishman is retiring from CBS Sports, he plans to remain in film and television working on various projects, including documentaries.

 



About Bob Fishman, Mark Grant and Suzanne Smith

A 16-time Emmy Award winner and a 2019 inductee into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Bob Fishman has served as lead director of CBS Sports’ college basketball coverage, including the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship and Final since 1982, as well as a director for the Network’s coverage of the NFL for more than three decades. He also was the lead director for CBS Sports’ coverage of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships for 27 years (1988-2014) and directed figure skating at the 1992, 1994 and 1998 Olympic Winter Games, as well as the ’98 Nagano, Japan Opening Ceremony. His auto racing credits include 20 years at the Daytona 500 (1979-2000) as well as many other NASCAR races, and Formula One Detroit Grand Prix. Fishman was the first American director to utilize the Race Cam (remote controlled in-car cameras) when the technology was introduced to the U.S. by Australian engineers.  

During his tenure at CBS Sports, he has directed the World Series (1992-93) and for many years, the NBA playoffs, The Belmont Stakes, college football, the original NFL TODAY show, CBS SPORTS SPECTACULAR anthology show, and countless horse races from coast-to-coast. Fishman also directed swimming and track and field at three Pan American Games. For full bio click here.

Mark Grant joined CBS Sports in 1998 and serves as a director for CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network. He covers college basketball, including the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, the NFL, college football and golf. Grant has worked every NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament during his tenure at CBS, beginning with the 1999 Tournament.

Grant is a five-time Emmy Award-winner and also has been honored with three ACE Awards for excellence in cable television production.

A 41-year veteran, Grant has been a trailblazer in the industry, becoming the first African-American director at both CBS and ESPN. On November 1, 2020, Grant directed the Los Angeles Chargers-Denver Broncos game on CBS alongside producer Kimani Morales, marking the first time that an NFL telecast was led by an African-American executive producer (Harold Bryant), producer (Morales) and director (Grant). For full bio click here.

Suzanne Smith is a director and producer for CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network and has been with CBS since 1983. She has been a trailblazer in the industry since her start, working on the NFL, Super Bowls, The Masters, NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Championships, college football and everything in between. Looked at as a mentor to many, she entered the industry at a time when there was no road map for a young, female, gay production assistant. So, she mapped her own path, leading the way for those to come after her and becoming an industry pioneer.  

She served as the director for CBS Sports and Nickelodeon’s groundbreaking, Emmy Award-winning presentation of the Chicago Bears-New Orleans Saints NFC Wild Card game during the 2020 NFL Playoffs.  An eight-time Emmy Award-winner, Smith also directs college basketball, including the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship since 1994, and is a member of the Network’s golf production team for the Masters. In addition to her live event assignments, Smith serves as Coordinating Producer and Director of WE NEED TO TALK, the first-ever nationally televised all-female sports show. For full bio click here.

 

Media Contact:

Randall Liu: randall.liu@cbs.com

Press:

Randall Liu
212-975-5936
randall.liu@cbs.com