CBS Golf overhaul continues, lead producer Lance Barrow to step down after 2020 season

December 17, 2019

The biggest domino has fallen in CBS Sports’ tectonic shift in its golf coverage. Lance Barrow, coordinating producer of golf on CBS and winner of 12 Emmy Awards, has announced his decision to step down after the conclusion of the 2020 season.

Barrow is only the second person ever to hold the position of lead producer for CBS’ golf coverage. He’s heading into his 23rd year in the role, having inherited the title of coordinating producer from legendary CBS Sports producer Frank Chirkinian in 1997.

Barrow is a CBS lifer. He started at the company in 1976 as a spotter and researcher for hall of fame broadcaster Pat Summerall before working his way up the ladder. In his role as lead producer, he’s been responsible for nearly everything you’ve seen watching golf on CBS for the last quarter century. The network’s coverage of the Masters, PGA Championship and PGA Tour, as well as its pacing, tone and technology all fall under Barrow’s purview.

Succeeding him is another longtime CBS Sports producer, Sellers Shy. Shy joined the network full-time in 1997 and is currently a producer for CBS’ NFL, NCAA basketball, and PGA Tour coverage. In one of his first tournaments as a producer, Shy covered Tiger Woods’ first Masters victory.

The announcement marks the largest change for the network in an offseason filled with high-profile additions and subtractions. Peter Kostis and Gary McCord, both longtime faces of CBS Golf, are no longer with the network. While Davis Love III, Trevor Immelman and Michelle Wie are joining the network in varying capacities for the 2020 season.

The seismic shift in the network’s coverage comes after an up-and-down ratings year. While the Masters was watched by a whopping 37 million viewers, up 41 percent from 2018, the PGA Championship saw identical losses in its new calendar slot, down 41 percent from the previous year. There are contributing factors to both of those numbers, with Masters ratings aided by a “Tiger bump” and the PGA Championship likely suffering as a result of Brooks Koepka’s near wire-to-wire dominance.

Barrow’s decision to step down was announced on the same day as a report of a new TV deal for the PGA Tour. In the deal, CBS reportedly remains in much the same role covering the Tour’s regular season and postseason.

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