I can hear the NBC/ Golf Channel “brain trust” now… “What the heck do we do with David Feherty THIS week?”
It’s an embarrassing question for them to be asking and amazing that they can’t figure it out. This time, Thursday of the WGC event at Doral, they confined their biggest star to hole announcer status. “Hear Ye, Hear Ye” The declaration is clear for today… David Feherty and Jimmy Roberts are equals on the org chart. Good gracious what in the world is going on over there?
Clearly NBC wanted David Feherty in the worst way when his contract was up at CBS. Can’t blame them for that. It also seems more and more obvious that the decision makers at Comcast/NBC/Golf Channel mostly wanted Feherty because they thought his most important contribution to the family was his sometimes funny, occasionally interesting, mostly uneven talk show. The thinking must have been that they couldn’t let golf broadcasting’s unique voice and unpredictable sense of humor take his brand somewhere better suited to him (like FOX Sports). So they paid him more than anybody else they have on the air to keep his talk show on Golf Channel. The live golf component apparently, and now obviously, was an afterthought.
I have empathy for NBC/Golf Channel top dog producer Tommy Roy. I have been there when superiors forced talent on a broadcast announce team I was responsible for. “Just make it work” they said to me. I wonder if they used similar words when they threw this grenade into the middle of golf television’s longest tenured and most cohesive group. So far Tommy hasn’t figured out how to “just make it work” and this latest experiment may be his worst attempt yet.
Feherty is an amazingly social animal so what they did, at least today, is stick him in a cage all by himself. The only other time I can remember Feherty in this role is every year at Augusta because that’s where the Masters wants him. Not just him but all the announcers. Sadly for this excellent broadcaster, Doral’s TV show on Thursday is not on par with Augusta National’s on ANY day. Then to add insult to injury they make him do the exact same job as Jimmy Roberts. That doesn’t come close to comparing with acquiescing to the ghost of Clifford Roberts.
Feherty should be the lead analyst in the booth on the Golf Channel shows when he is a part of that team (no disrespect to Frank Nobilo who I like as a broadcaster). He should then be the lead on course commentator when NBC takes over the tournament( this time no disrespect to Roger Maltbie) on the weekend. That should be the call. Every time. Every chance. Every event. Stop screwing around with him and with us.
We ALL know what he’s best at which is why it’s so hard to understand why the powers that be at Comcast/NBC/Golf Channel can’t figure it out.