Fox replaces NFL announcer Joe Buck with Kevin Burkhardt

There’s a saying in sports: “Addition by subtraction.” It means that sometimes, losing a player, whether to injury, a trade or free agency, can make a team better. In the announcing booth, you can make an argument it works, too — at least as far as Fox Sports is concerned.

On Monday, the New York Post reported Kevin Burkhardt will be named the top announcer for Fox Sports after longtime No. 1 Joe Buck left the network for ESPN. 

The arrangement means Burkhardt will be the top voice for the network’s slate of NFL games as well as announcing two of the next three Super Bowls and the World Series.

It’s not clear who will join Burkhardt in the booth, although ex-jock Greg Olsen is rumored to be in the running.

Olsen, a former NFL tight end, partnered with Burkhardt in 2021.

What is clear is that Burkhardt, the former No. 2, is a popular pick to succeed Buck, particularly given his backstory.

“Nearly 20 years ago, Kevin Burkhardt was in New Jersey selling Chevys, trying to make ends meet with his sportscasting career in neutral,” the Post noted.

“He eventually got a break with WCBS and WFAN Radio before ending up as the Mets’ sideline reporter for SNY.”

This was facilitated in part by the owner of the Pine Belt, New Jersey Chevrolet dealership where Burkhardt worked, who allowed him to work flexible hours to continue to work with WCBS.

“He let me work in the car dealership to pay the mortgage,” Burkhardt said. He was finally able to quit when WFAN, New York’s pioneering sports radio station, hired him as a full-timer.

Burkhardt and Fox Sports are currently finalizing a long-term contract.

While the Network had tried to keep Buck, including offering him $12 million, they also felt Burkhardt was ready to step into his shoes.

He’ll also be a marked contrast to Buck. As the Post noted, during his time as the Mets’ sideline reporter, Burkhardt was “almost universally beloved.”

Say what you will about Buck’s talents, those three words have never been used to describe him; the bombastic reporter, son of legendary baseball announcer Jack Buck, is arguably one of the most divisive on-air talents since Howard Cosell.

Buck and broadcast partner Troy Aikman, who have been together since 2002, have matched Pat Summerall and John Madden for the longest time together in an NFL booth — and while much can be made for the professionalism of the Buck/Aikman duo, no one will mistake them for being as popular as the Summerall/Madden partnership.

Sure, Buck might be the more highly remunerated talent. However, for Fox Sports, it’s looking a lot like addition by subtraction.