Bob Costas steps down as NBC host of Olympics; Mike Tirico to replace him – USA TODAY
Bob Costas is stepping down from hosting the Olympics on NBC and Mike Tirico will replace him.
USA TODAY Sports
Bob Costas, the face of NBC Sports for decades, is stepping away from hosting the Olympics. Mike Tirico will take over. Costas made the surprise revelation on Thursday morningâs Today show.
“I am going to be like the rest of the country, watching Mike Tirico, who will be an able successor in Korea for the Winter Olympicsâ a year from now, Costas said.
Tirico will also handle hosting duties on Football Night in America, according to an email from the network to USA TODAY Sports.
Costas, who turns 65 next month, said he would remain with NBC Sports and appear when circumstances call for it, as Tom Brokaw does for NBC News.
“Theyâve been kind enough — and itâs an honor to even have your name in the same sentence — theyâve been kind enough to call it the Brokaw phase of my career,â Costas said. âSo I will be to sports what Tom has been for the last several years to news.â
According to USA TODAY Sports’ Christine Brennan,Â Costas will host one more Super Bowl next yearÂ in Minneapolis since Tirico will already be in South Korea for the Winter Olympics.
Tirico, 50, also appeared on the show, where he said he attended Syracuse University on a Bob Costas scholarship. Costas said Tirico was the first recipient of the scholarship in his name.
Today host Matt Lauer called Costas the best TV host in Olympic history. Costas pushed back on that, mentioning Jim McKay, who hosted for ABC generations ago. âThereâs 1 and 1A, and I think Iâm 1A, because Jim McKay invented the role,â Costas said.
“It is with a tremendous amount of pride that I can simultaneously express our appreciation for Bobâs stellar, record-setting run,â Mark Lazarus chairman of NBC Broadcasting and Sports, said in a statement, âwhile also feeling very lucky that we have someone as talented as Mike to take over as our new primetime host.â
The Rio Games were Costasâ 11th as NBCâs prime-time host. He was also late-night host for 1988âs Seoul Summer Games. That means he has been an Olympic ringmaster in parts of four decades. He mused before the Rio Games that if he stayed on through the 2020 Summer Games that heâd be a five-decade man.
“But thatâs not reason enough to do it,â he told USA TODAY Sports at the time. âIâve said â and I meant it â that Iâm taking this case by case, one at a time, and see how we feel after this. But theyâve been nice enough â they being everybody at NBC â to say that itâs up to me. You know, âIf you want to do one, two, three, four more, you can. If you want to stop after this one, you can. Itâs your call.â
“So thatâs very nice. I will not have to be escorted out. Iâll leave before they have to drop hints.â