Ever wonder what happens when you’re under contract, but you don’t know enough about golf? You get “reassigned” to one of NBC Sports’ sister channels. Yep, I’m referring to “Morning Drive” co-host Erik Kuselias, a member of Mensa International (a society for people with extraordinarily high IQs).
Since the debut of the daily morning weekday talk show on Golf Channel, a network of the NBC Sports Group, in January 2011, Kuselias has been a co-host, but starting on Monday, May 14th, he will no longer occupy the seat next to Gary Williams.
A reader sent me an email with a link to GolfChannel.com’s live chat, hosted by John Hawkins, at the time, and asked, “Did Kuselias get fired?” See the screenshot below to see the part of the conversation that caught the attention of the quick-witted tipster:
Here’s the text version:
Commenter “Dave” said: “Don’t get me started with Morning Drive. We ended up screaming at the TV. My wife wants to reach through the TV and grab Kuselias by the throat.”
Hawkins: “OK, I won’t get you started. Seriously, do you watch things to get pissed off? Besides, you won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore…”
“Dick Nixon” is, of course, Kuselias, who isn’t exactly the most “likeable” person in the world, according to, well, everyone, including an NBC Sports higher-up. Credit the Hawk for cleverly implying that Kuselias has been “impeached.” (High-five!)
To be clear, Kuselias, a former ESPN personality whose contract wasn’t renewed in 2009, was not fired, according to Golf Channel spokesperson Dan Higgins.
“Erik has been working with the NBC Sports Network and been on assignment with ‘NBC Sports Talk,’ where he’s done a great job, so his focus is being shifted to that, instead of Morning Drive,” said Higgins via phone.
He also made friends at Golf Channel, namely co-hostess Holly Sonders. The couple moved in together last December.
This begs an important question: Since the “NBC Sports Talk” studio is in Connecticut and Kuselias will probably be relocating back to the northeast, will Erik and Holly stay engaged
together? Or will she move to be with him? (*UPDATE: Yes, it’s been confirmed Erik and Holly are indeed engaged. GC sources say EK’s face time in his new role will be, uh, limited, so he’ll stay based in Orlando.)
According to Higgins, Golf Channel has not found a permanent replacement for Kuselias on MD and said they have yet to discuss potential candidates. Meanwhile, at TPC Sawgrass, there have been mumblings that Jimmy Roberts and Jerry Foltz are among the frontrunners or names in the mix.
Best of luck to Kuselias
, whose last show as the official co-host of MD will be tomorrow (Sunday).
*Update–Monday, May 14, 1AM:
In the fantasy EK is living, “reassignment” really means “promotion.” He announced his “move up”
into a basement at an NBC Sports studio via Twitter on Sunday morning.
He also thanks his followers for their congratulatory replies. Here’s a sampling:
Well, alrighty then! — bet the boys up in Bristol are just super stoked!
It’s unclear what type of visibility
(or lack thereof) he’ll have at “NBC Sports Talk.” We’ll just have to wait and see. Oh, by the way, when is his contract up for renewal? Just curious.
If anything, it shows that ESPN is doing its best to live up to George Bodenheimer’s please-stop-being-so-handsy-at-work memo and is ridding itself of people who might be a little too brazen in defying company policy. You know, like our old friend Erik Kuselias, whose contract was not renewed and who moved on to the Golf Channel. Not many people in Bristol were sad to see him leave.
I smell a pattern.