Tony Kornheiser will not be returning to the broadcast booth of ESPN’s Monday Night Football, the network reported today. He’ll be replaced by former Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden. Neil Best at Newsday is reporting that Kornheiser is leaving of his own accord.
Kornheiser cited the grind of the travel schedule, which from the start has been his biggest complaint about the job. He has an intense fear of flying and tried to avoid doing so whenever possible.
Only six of ESPN’s regular-season games in 2009 are scheduled for the Eastern Time Zone (Kornheiser lives in Washington, D.C.), and there are games in Oakland, San Diego, Denver and San Francisco.
Tony Kornheiser obviously got the job because of his successes in radio and with PTI, but this was a bad fit from the start. But like Dan Levy once said of Kornheiser, who in their right mind would say no to Monday Night Football? Apparently, Kornheiser. No one’s really sure how much of an upgrade Gruden is over TK, but I suspect that Jaworski will no longer have to feign interest in his colleague’s ramblings for extended periods of time.