Phyllis George, Pioneering Sports Anchor, Has Died

Phyllis George, who was co-host of The NFL Today on CBS, has died. She was 70 and had battled blood cancer for several years.

Phyllis George on "The NFL Today"

Phyllis George on "The NFL Today" (Image credit: CBS)

Born in 1949, George had been named Miss America in 1971. After making the rounds on talk shows, she was a co-host on The New Candid Camera in 1974, and joined CBS Sports shortly thereafter. 

George hosted the pre-game show on CBS alongside Brent Musburger, Irv Cross and Jimmy Snyder, known as Jimmy the Greek. 

She married Robert Evans, the Hollywood producer, in 1977. After their divorce, George married John Y. Brown Jr. in 1979, the same year he was elected governor of Kentucky. 

She was replaced by Jayne Kennedy on The NFL Today in 1978 but returned to the program until 1984, according to the New York Times. 

In 1985, George replaced Diane Sawyer on The CBS Morning News, anchoring with Bill Kurtis. She held that role for eight months.  

George later hosted a talk show on the Nashville Network. 

“The CBS Sports family is deeply saddened by the passing of Phyllis George, an icon in the sports broadcasting industry who contributed greatly to the rich history and tradition of CBS Sports,” said Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports, in a statement. “Phyllis was not only a key member of a show that remains the gold standard of NFL pre-game shows...but also a pioneer for all women in broadcasting.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.