CBS Puts Its Money on Bryant

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After saying long goodbyes to the Today show in a flurry of publicity a couple of months ago, Bryant Gumbel told intervie wers that he was looking for big changes in his career, changes that might even mean leaving television altogether. That was just negotiating talk, reports TIME’s Bill Tynan. After a spirited bidding war by several media firms, Gumbel has decided to give up those pre-dawn commutes and move to CBS, where his five-year deal will see him hosting three primetime specials each year and developing potentially-lucrative syndicated programs through a company of his own that will partner with CBS. Says T ynan: “Gumbel is in a perfect position. He has a large following. He can try a syndicated talk show, and even if it isn’t a huge success, he won’t have lost anything. One thing the networks and the syndicators know is that Bryant is a guy you can make a buck with. He’s a money player, a very popular guy.”