Kevin Burkhardt
Kevin Burkhardt (cropped).jpg
Burkhardt in 2022
BornMarch 2, 1973/1974 (age 48–49)
Alma materWilliam Paterson University
OccupationSportscaster
SpouseRachel
Children2

Kevin Burkhardt (born 1973/1974)[1] is an American sportscaster. He is currently the lead play-by-play voice for the NFL on Fox and lead studio host for Fox Major League Baseball.

Burkhardt was formerly a reporter with SportsNet New York (SNY) during New York Mets telecasts from 2007 to 2014. He also called select Mets games during both spring training and the regular season during that time. He has been the primary studio host for Major League Baseball (MLB) telecasts on Fox and FS1 since the 2014 season. He also hosts the "Reunion" episodes of the History Channel's reality series Alone.

Early life

Burkhardt was raised in Bloomfield, New Jersey. Growing up, he was a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles.[2] He chose to be an Eagle's fan because his favorite NFL Huddle, a stuffed animal mascot sold in Sears Catalog, was the one of the Philadelphia Eagles.[2] His favorite player growing up was Ron Jaworski.[2]

In middle school, he did play-by-play for Nintendo games and idolized Gary Cohen (who was later his partner in the Mets' broadcast booth).[3] He graduated from Bloomfield High School in 1992.[4] Burkhardt graduated from William Paterson University in 1997 with a degree in broadcasting.

Career

Burkhardt began his career at the radio station WGHT[5] in Northern New Jersey, spending eight years working for the station, covering events including high school football.

Burkhardt also worked at Jukebox Radio broadcasting New Jersey Jackals minor league games for WJUX,[citation needed] owned by Jerry Turro. Several years into his career, and unable to get a better broadcasting gig, Burkhardt worked as a car salesman at Pine Belt Chevrolet in Eatontown, New Jersey.[6][2]

After working at WGHT, Burkhardt got a part-time job working at WFAN, doing freelance work and eventually becoming the station's full-time New York Jets reporter.[3][7][8]

During this time, he was a regular on Out of Bounds for Philadelphia's CN8, did sports reporting for Time Warner Cable, and on sports reports for WCBS 880.[7][8]

SportsNet New York

Burkhardt (left) interviewing R. A. Dickey for SNY in 2012
Burkhardt (left) interviewing R. A. Dickey for SNY in 2012

Burkhardt joined the Mets broadcast team at the beginning of the 2007 season,[9] replacing Chris Cotter. Burkhardt interviewed for the SNY job but never thought he would be hired.[3] On SNY he appeared on shows such as Mets Hot Stove, Mets Pre-Game Live, Mets Post-Game Live, and Mets Year in Review. Burkhardt left SNY at the end of the 2014 season for a full-time job at Fox.

Compass Radio Network

Despite his role with the Mets, Burkhardt wanted to call football games and was offered the ability to do so through the Compass Radio Network.[2] There he called the 2009 Texas Bowl.[2] At Compass Radio Network, he called other college football games, as well.[2]

Burkhardt was also the play-by-play voice for Dallas Cowboys games on Compass Radio Networks from the inauguration of its America's Team Radio Network in 2011 until 2013, when he joined the NFL on Fox and was replaced by Kevin Ray.[10][2] His color commentator on the broadcasts was Danny White.[11]

Fox Sports

Burkhardt in 2018
Burkhardt in 2018

In 2013, Burkhardt began calling games for NFL on Fox, teaming with John Lynch and Erin Andrews as the network's #4 announcer team. This crew also called the divisional playoff game between the Saints and Seahawks on January 11, 2014.[12] He also did fill-in work for Major League Baseball on Fox in 2012 and 2013, and in 2014 was named as pre-game host for MLB coverage on Fox and Fox Sports 1.[6] On April 24, 2014 it was reported that Burkhardt had agreed to a three-year contract with Fox beginning in 2015.[13] He also joined the Fox College Hoops team.[14]

After Joe Buck left Fox for ESPN in 2022, Burkhardt was promoted to the lead NFL on Fox broadcast team alongside Greg Olsen as color commentator (until Tom Brady joins Fox's lead broadcast team in 2024).[15] Burkhardt was the television play-by-play announcer for Super Bowl LVII.[16][17][18] With his call, he became the first play-by-play voice not named Jim Nantz, Joe Buck or Al Michaels to call a Super Bowl since 2004.[2]

He was praised for his work in his first season as Fox's lead broadcaster and during his call of Super Bowl LVII.[19] Throughout the season, critics commended Burkhardt for striking a good level of excitement when necessary and for keeping games exciting.[19][2] In Super Bowl LVII, he was praised for providing important information such as stating that despite the touchdown call by Eagle's running back Kenneth Gainwell being overturned, Gainwell still managed to pickup the necessary yardage for a first and goal.[19] Some viewers criticized Burkhardt for praising the controversial figures of Rupert Murdoch and Elon Musk, when shown on TV, as "brilliant minds."[20]

Personal life

Burkhardt resides in Los Angeles, California with his wife, Rachel, son, Logan, and daughter, Brook. The family previously lived in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey.[7]

References

  1. ^ Shuster, Rachel (March 4, 2014). "The Next Generation". The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. p. 6B. Kevin Burkhardt, 40: The former college catcher is a play-by-play announcer for select MLB games on TBS.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Fox's Kevin Burkhardt grew up an Eagles fan. Now he's calling a Birds Super Bowl". The Philadelphia Inquirer. February 12, 2023. Retrieved February 13, 2023.
  3. ^ a b c Samuel, Ebenezer (May 15, 2010). "On the sidelines with SNY's Mets field reporter Kevin Burkhardt". Daily News. New York. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
  4. ^ Knight, Kevin. "Bloomfield Grad Kevin Burkhardt Makes All The Right Moves at FOX Sports", TAP into Bloomfield, December 14, 2018. Accessed January 16, 2021. "Burkhardt, a 1992 graduate of Bloomfield High School, can be seen every Sunday afternoon calling football games for NFL on FOX Sports."
  5. ^ "OverKnight Success". Kevin Knight. Archived from the original on December 9, 2010. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
  6. ^ a b Deitsch, Richard (March 2, 2014). "Kevin Burkhardt lands MLB gig with Fox, Fox Sports 1, more". SI.com. Archived from the original on March 6, 2014. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c "Mets On-Air Talent". SNY. Archived from the original on July 24, 2010. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
  8. ^ a b "Mets Broadcasters". Major League Baseball. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
  9. ^ "Mets On-Air Talent | SNY.tv: Sny_announcers". Archived from the original on July 24, 2010. Retrieved July 24, 2010.
  10. ^ "Compass Media Networks Announces Broadcast Talent For 2011 Football Season," Compass Media Networks press release, Wednesday, July 20, 2011. Archived October 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Stapleton, Art. "Mets' Kevin Burkhardt also radio voice of Cowboys," The Record (Bergen County, NJ), Sunday, January 1, 2012.
  12. ^ Yoder, Matt. "Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch will call NFL playoff game for Fox". Awful Announcing. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  13. ^ Burke, Don (April 25, 2014). "Kevin Burkhardt leaving SNY after season". New York Post. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  14. ^ "Breaking News - Iconic Voices Return for FOX Sports' Extensive College Basketball Coverage". TheFutonCritic.com. November 13, 2014. Retrieved May 5, 2022.
  15. ^ Hernandez, Victoria. "Tom Brady's gap year gives Greg Olsen extra $7M for 2023 broadcast role, per reports". USA TODAY. Retrieved February 18, 2023.
  16. ^ "Kevin Burkhardt replacing Joe Buck as Fox's top NFL play-by-play voice". March 28, 2022.
  17. ^ Florio, Mike (May 10, 2022). "Report: 10 years, $375 million for Tom Brady". NBC Sports. Retrieved May 10, 2022.
  18. ^ Traina, Jimmy. "NFL Broadcasting Carousel Isn't Close to Slowing Down". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved October 20, 2022.
  19. ^ a b c "In a great Super Bowl, Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen and Fox rise to the moment". The Athletic. February 13, 2023. Retrieved February 13, 2023.
  20. ^ "Fox Simps as 'Brilliant Minds' Elon Musk, Rupert Murdoch Sit Together at Super Bowl". The Daily Beast. February 12, 2023. Retrieved February 13, 2023.
Preceded byJoe Buck Lead play-by-play announcer, The NFL on Fox 2022–present Succeeded byIncumbent Preceded byJoe Buck Super Bowl television play-by-play announcer(NFC package carrier) 2023–present Succeeded byIncumbent