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Gus Johnson out at CBS

Indiana v Penn State

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 10: Big Ten Network announcer Gus Johnson calls the game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Indiana Hoosiers during the first round of the 2011 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 10, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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Earlier today, many were surprised to learn that Mike Mayock will be joined not by Gus Johnson but by Brad Nessler in the NFL Network broadcast booth.

But there’s an even bigger surprise, courtesy of Richard Deitsch of Johnson, a high-energy announcer who calls NFL and NCAA basketball games, has left CBS after the network and Johnson couldn’t work out a new deal.

Deitsch reports, citing unnamed industry sources, that Johnson has discussed possible employment with FOX Sports in its college football coverage. Surely, FOX would consider Johnson for its Sunday NFL slate of games, and pretty much any other sport FOX televises.

The move comes at a time when Johnson’s star has continued to rise, and it’s possible he wanted more money and/or a larger profile than CBS would or could provide. With Jim Nantz entrenched as the voice of CBS, Johnson could rise only so far. Whether he’ll rise (and fire) even higher with another network remains to be seen.

UPDATE: Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News reports that Johnson still could work out a new deal with CBS.