Doug Gottlieb left ESPN to join CBS, and Monday at midnight he will debut his new weeknight show Lead Off on CBS Sports Network. Gottlieb will be joined by co-host Allie LaForce, who comes to the show from her job as sports anchor at WJW-TV in Cleveland.
The new CBS Sports Network program will be produced in the Dick Clark Productions studios where the network does the Jim Rome Show. The studios are located just south of Los Angeles in Orange County, California.
Gottlieg, a longtime college basketball analyst, likes the challenge of hosting a sports show that's up against David Letterman, Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel.
I spoke to Gottlieb via phone about his new show, changing networks and moving his family to California.
JW: What can viewers expect from Lead Off?
Gottlieb: We are a program that will have guests and will react to the biggest stories and events of the day, with a targeted focus on the hot topics and tomorrow's headlines. The goal is to have fun and to drive the narrative as to what people will be talking about the next day in sports. We have a very creative team here that wants to develop something special, and we think that there are plenty of late-night viewers interested in talking sports.
JW: How's your co-host Allie LaForce?
Gottlieb We auditioned about 20 women, and we were so impressed by Allie that it was clear to everyone that she was the winner. Allie has a wonderful grasp of sports, and one of her biggest strengths is that she is a very quick study. There is no doubt in my mind that in six months to a year Allie is going to be a star. She comes to us from Cleveland and is only 23-years-old, but she is very poised and viewers are going to love her.
JW: How has the move to CBS Sports Network been?
Gottlieb: They have been great. I have the new TV show, and starting in January I will have the new national radio show. I will be doing college basketball games, and I could not have asked for a better deal. I would be remiss if I did not say that if it were not for ESPN none of this would ever had happened. They were very good to me. On a personal note, my wife and kids moved from Bristol to Orange County, California, and that is a culture shock. But, hey, it is all good.
*All quotes were obtained firsthand in an interview conducted via a phone call with Gottlieb set up by CBS Sports.