Sports industry celebrates excellence at Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame

By Carolyn Braff

Tuesday evening was a special night for the sports community. In front of a standing-room-only audience at the Hilton Hotel in New York City, the inaugural class was inducted to the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, and the ceremony brought alternate fits of laughter and tears to every member of the distinguished audience.

More than 400 industry executives gathered for the reception and ceremony which was hosted by CBS Sports Jim Nantz and Bob Costas of NBC Sports and HBO Sports. “This is the greatest night of the year,” said Bob Costas of NBC Sports and HBO Sports.

The 2007 class of inductees is comprised of: Roone Alredge, president of ABC Sports; Julius Barnathan, president of Broadcast Operations and Engineering for ABC Sports; Frank Chirkinian, producer of 38 Masters Tournaments and the father of televised golf; Howard Cosell, ABC Sports broadcaster; Harry Coyle, NBC Sports Director; Jim McKay, ABC Sports broadcaster; Pete Rozelle, commissioner of the National Football League; Ed Sabol, founder of NFL Films; Tom Shelburne, founder of NEP Supershooters; Larry Thorpe, sports technology guru and the promoter of HD television; and George Wensel, founder of NEP Broadcasting.

Costas and CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz hosted the ceremony, which was produced by the Sports Video Group, and their combined five decades of experience in sports broadcasting allowed them to add a personal touch to the evening’s presentations. The talented masters of ceremonies added their own anecdotes to the already rich store of heartfelt stories told over the course of the evening and spread a genuine awe for the accomplishments of some of the industry’s founding fathers.

Each award was presented with a personal introduction about the winner given by someone who knew or worked with him as well as a video of some of the winner’s greatest accomplishments. Friends and family members involved in the presentation included legends like Dick Ebersol, Don Ohlmeyer, Michael Weisman, Lou Siracusano, Debbie Honkus, Roone Arledge, Jr., Steve Sabol, and Sean McManus.

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