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Encyclopedia > Roone Arledge

Roone Arledge (July 8, 1931December 5, 2002) was an American sports broadcasting pioneer who was chairman of ABC News from 1977 until his death, and a key part of the company's rise to competition with the two other main broadcasting stations, NBC and CBS, in the '60s, '70s, and '80s. is the 189th day of the year (190th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1931 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... December 5 is the 339th day (340th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) operates television and radio networks in the United States and is also shown on basic cable in Canada. ... ABC News Special Report ident, circa 2006 ABC News is a division of American television and radio network ABC, owned by The Walt Disney Company. ... Also: 1977 (album) by Ash. ... The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American television network headquartered in the GE Building in New York Citys Rockefeller Center. ... CBS Broadcasting, Inc. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, also called The Seventies. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

Contents

Roots

Arledge was born the son of a North Carolina lawyer who moved to New York City in search of opportunity. He grew up a smart, but sheltered upper middle class kid. Arledge attended Wellington C. Mepham High School on Long Island where he wrestled, and played baseball. Upon graduation, he decided that sportswriting was what he wanted to do in life, and applied to Columbia University. Official language(s) English Capital Raleigh Largest city Charlotte Area  Ranked 28th  - Total 53,865 sq mi (139,509 km²)  - Width 150 miles (240 km)  - Length 560[1] miles (901 km)  - % water 9. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... Wellington C. Mepham High School is a high school located in Bellmore, New York. ... This article is about the island in New York State. ... Columbia University is a private research university in the United States and a member of the prestigious Ivy League. ...


There, he discovered that Columbia's journalism program was a graduate program -- not an undergraduate one. Even so, Arledge liked what he saw, and enrolled in a liberal-arts program. His classmates included Max Frankel, who would eventually win a Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for his work as editorial page editor of the New York Times; Larry Grossman, who became president of the Public Broadcasting System in 1976, and later went on to head NBC News; and Richard Wald, another president of NBC News that Arledge would later persuade to come over to ABC News as a senior vice-president. Max Frankel is a journalist. ... The Pulitzer Prize is an American award regarded as the highest national honor in print journalism, literary achievements, and musical composition. ... For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... Lawrence Larry Sheldon Grossman (born December 2, 1943 in Toronto, Ontario; died June 1997) was a politician in Ontario, Canada, and a noted baseball fan. ... Note: Public Broadcasting Services is a broadcaster in Malta. ... Year 1976 Pick up sticks(MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American television network headquartered in the GE Building in New York Citys Rockefeller Center. ...


After receiving a bachelor's degree in 1952, Arledge enrolled in graduated studies at Columbia's School of International Affairs. Restless with graduate studies, he went looking for a job where he could use his college degree, and obtained an entry-level job at the DuMont Television Network. Military service intervened, and after Arledge's discharge, he learned the network had folded and he had no job to return to. The DuMont Television Network was the worlds first commercial television network, beginning operation in the United States in 1946. ...


Contacts he made at DuMont paid off with a stage manager's job at NBC's New York City station, WRCA (later WNBC). One of his assignments there was to help produce a children's puppet show hosted by Shari Lewis. In 1958, the program won a New York City Emmy award. WNBC-TV, NBC4 is the flagship TV station of the NBC television network, with studios located in Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. ... Shari Lewis (born Sonia Phyllis Hurwitz; January 17, 1933 – August 2, 1998) was an American ventriloquist, puppeteer, and childrens television show host, most popular during the 1960s. ... An Emmy Award. ...


Even with that success, Arledge wanted to tinker with programming ideas. With what was then the avante-garde magazine Playboy as his model, Arledge convinced his superiors at WRCA to let him film a pilot of a show he called, "For Men Only." While his superiors liked the pilot, they told him WRCA couldn't find a place in the programming schedule for it. But the WRCA weatherman, Pat Hernon, who hosted the pilot episode of "For Men Only", began showing the kinescope to people around New York City who might want the program. One of them was a former account executive at the ad agency Dancer Fitzgerald & Sample, Edgar J. Scherick, who as far as Hernon knew, was doing something at ABC. Playboy is an American mens magazine, founded in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, which has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc. ... Kinescope (IPA: [], []) originally referred to the cathode ray tube used in television monitors. ... Edgar J. Scherick (October 24, 1924 – December 2, 2002) was one of the most prolific producers of television miniseries, made-for-television films, and theatrical motion pictures. ...


Assistant Producer

Scherick, had joined the fledgling ABC television network when he persuaded it to purchase Sports Programs, Inc. Scherick had formed this company after leaving CBS when the network would not make him the head of sports programming, choosing instead William C. McPhail, a former baseball public-relations agent. Before ABC Sports even became a formal division of the network, Scherick and ABC programming chief Tom Moore pulled off many programming deals involving the most popular American sporting events. CBS Sports is a division of CBS which airs many of the sports telecasts in the United States. ...


While Scherick wasn't interested in "For Men Only," he recognized the talent Arledge had. Arledge realized ABC was the organization he was looking to join. The lack of a formal organization would offer him the opportunity to claim real power when the network matured. So, he signed on with Scherick as an assistant producer.


Several months before ABC began broadcasting NCAA college football games, Arledge sent Scherick a remarkable memo, filled with youthful exuberance, and television production concepts which sports broadcasts have adhered to since. Previously, network sporting broadcasts had consisted of simple set-ups and focused on the game itself The genius of Arledge in this memo was not that he offered another way to broadcast the game to the sports fan. The genius was to recognize television had to take the sports fan to the game. In addition, Arledge was intelligent enough to realize that the broadcasts needed to attract, and hold the attention of women viewers. At age 29 on September 17, 1960 put his vision into reality with ABC's first NCAA college football broadcast from Birmingham, Alabama, between Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs won by Alabama, 21-6. Sports broadcasting has not been the same since. is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Flying high

Arledge had demolished the barrier between television cameras and subject material with his NCAA college football production values. However, Scherick wanted low-budget (as in inexpensive broadcasting rights) sports programming that could attract and retain an audience. He hit upon the idea of broadcasting track and field events sponsored by the Amateur Athletic Union. While Americans were not exactly fans of track and field events, Scherick figured Americans understood games. - The Amateur Athletic Union, widely known as the AAU, was formed in United States. ...


So in January 1961, Scherick called Arledge into his office, and asked him to attend the annual AAU board of governors meeting. While he was shaking hands, Scherick said, if the mood seemed right, might he cut a deal to broadcast AAU events on ABC? It seemed a tall assignment, but as Scherick said years later, "Roone was a gentile and I was not." Arledge came back with a deal for ABC to broadcast all AAU events for $50,000 a year.


Next, Scherick and Arledge divided up their NCAA college football sponsor list. They then telephoned their sponsors and said in so many words, "Advertise on our new sports show coming up in April, or forget about buying commercials on NCAA college football this fall." The two persuaded enough sponsors to advertise, though it took them to the last day of a deadline imposed by ABC programming to do it.


Wide World of Sports suited Scherick's plans exactly. By exploiting the speed of jet transportation and flexibility of videotape, Scherick was able to undercut NBC and CBS's advantages in broadcasting live sporting events. In that era, with communications nowhere near as universal as they are today, ABC was able to safely record events on videotape for later broadcast without worrying about an audience finding out the results. ABCs Wide World of Sports is a long-running sports anthology show on American television. ...


Arledge, his colleague Chuck Howard, and Jim McKay (who left CBS for this opportunity) made up the show on a week-by-week basis the first year it was broadcast. Arledge had a genius for the dramatic story line that unfolded in the course of a game or event. McKay's honest curiosity and reporter's bluntness gave the show an emotional appeal which attracted viewers who might not otherwise watch a sporting event. Charles (Chuck) Howard graduated from Duke University in 1945. ... James Kenneth McManus, better known by his professional name of Jim McKay (b. ...


But more importantly from Arledge's perspective, Wide World of Sports allowed him to demonstrate his ability as an administrator as well as producer. Arledge did not gain a formal title as president of ABC Sports until 1968, even though Scherick left his position to assume a position of vice president for programming at ABC in 1964.


Arledge personally produced all ten ABC Olympic broadcasts, created the primetime Monday Night Football and coined ABC's famous "Thrill of victory, agony of defeat" tagline — although ABC insiders of that era attribute the authorship to legendary sports broadcaster Jim McKay. Monday Night Football (MNF) is a live television broadcast of the National Football League. ... James Kenneth McManus, better known by his professional name of Jim McKay (b. ...


ABC News

In 1977, ABC made Arledge president of the then low-rated network news division, all while Arledge retained control of the Sports Division. ABC News had at the time been in the middle of blunders such as the disastrous pairing of Barbara Walters with Harry Reasoner at the desk of the network's evening news. The previous year, ABC had lured Walters away from NBC's Today Show for $1,000,000. This biographical article needs additional references for verification. ... Harry Reasoner (April 17, 1923 – August 6, 1991) was an American journalist known for his use of language as a television commentator. ... The Today Show (officially called Today) is currently, a long-running morning news show airing on the NBC television network in the United States. ... ISO 4217 Code USD User(s) the United States, the British Indian Ocean Territory,[1] the British Virgin Islands, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Panama, Caicos Islands, and the insular areas of the United States Inflation 2. ...


Previous to that time, the only news experience Arledge had was providing ABC's coverage of the tragedies during the '72 Olympics in Munich. Other than that, he had no other major experience in news. The 1972 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XX Olympiad, were held in Munich, West Germany, from 26 August to 11 September 1972. ... Munich: Frauenkirche and Town Hall steeple Munich (German: München pronunciation) is the state capital of the German Bundesland of Bavaria. ...


Arledge's first major creation for ABC was 20/20, which premiered in June 1978. The first iteration of this program fared badly, and resulted in the firing of the original hosts, with Hugh Downs chosen as the new anchor for this show. 20/20 is an American television newsmagazine broadcast on ABC since June 6, 1978. ... Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ... The year 1978 in television involved some significant events. ... Hugh Malcolm Downs, (born February 14, 1921) is a retired American broadcaster, television host, producer, and author. ...


Shortly thereafter, Arledge reformatted the network's evening newscast with many of the splashy graphics he had developed at Wide World of Sports, and created World News Tonight. The show was unique not only because it was anchored by three newsmen, but because each of them were located in separate cities. The lead anchor was Frank Reynolds, who was based in Washington, with Max Robinson based out of Chicago, and Peter Jennings reporting from London. The program expanded to weekends in 1979. In 1983, Reynolds died of bone cancer, and Robinson departed the network, and ABC made Jennings the sole anchor of World News Tonight on September 5, 1983. Jennings anchored the broadcast until April 5, 2005, when he announced that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer, of which Jennings would succumb to on August 7, 2005. ABCs Wide World of Sports is a long-running sports anthology show on American television. ... ABC World News Tonight (often abbreviated as WNT) is the ABC television networks flagship evening news program. ... Frank Reynolds (born East Chicago, Indiana, November 29, 1923; died July 20, 1983), was a well known American television journalist for ABC. He is best remembered as anchor of the ABC Evening News from 1968 to 1970 and later as Washington D.C.-based co-anchor of World News Tonight... Max Robinson Max Robinson (May 1, 1939 - December 20, 1988) was a television journalist in the United States, and is best known for being the only African American network news anchor in the country. ... Peter Jennings, CM (July 29, 1938 – August 7, 2005) was a Canadian-born, American journalist and news anchor. ... See also: 1978 in television, other events of 1979, 1980 in television, and the list of years in television. For the United States network television schedule, please see 1979-80 United States network television schedule. ... A sarcoma is a cancer of the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue. ... is the 248th day of the year (249th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... // February 8 - Minipops premieres on Channel 4 in the UK. Though a ratings success, it is canceled after the first series due to heavy media criticism. ... is the 95th day of the year (96th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The year 2005 in television involved some significant events. ... Lung cancer is the malignant transformation and expansion of lung tissue, and is the most lethal of all cancers worldwide, responsible for 1. ... is the 219th day of the year (220th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In 1979, the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran was taken over by Iranian students, creating the Iranian Hostage Crisis. And on November 4, 1979, Frank Reynolds began anchoring a series of special reports entitled America Held Hostage. Several nights later, Ted Koppel, then the network's Diplomatic correspondent to the U.S. State Department, took over as anchor. The special reports led to the creation of Nightline, which premiered on March 24, 1980. Koppel anchored the broadcast with Chris Bury, and served as its managing editor. Koppel retained the position until when he retired in November 2005. The Iran hostage crisis was a 444-day period during which the new government of Iran after the Iranian Revolution held hostage 66 diplomats and citizens of the United States. ... is the 308th day of the year (309th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... See also: 1978 in television, other events of 1979, 1980 in television, and the list of years in television. For the United States network television schedule, please see 1979-80 United States network television schedule. ... Photo by Bob DAmico/ABC Ted Koppel, anchor of the ABC News program Nightline. ... Nightline is a late-night hard and soft news program broadcast by ABC in the United States, and has a franchised formula to other networks and stations elsewhere in the world. ... is the 83rd day of the year (84th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This is a list of television-related events in 1980. ...


In 1981, Arledge brought David Brinkley to ABC from NBC, and created the Sunday-morning affairs program This Week for Brinkley. Brinkley would retire from the program in 1996. The program is currently anchored by George Stephanopoulos. The year 1981 in television involved some significant events. ... David Brinkley David McClure Brinkley (July 10, 1920 – June 11, 2003) was a popular American television newscaster for two different USA television networks, NBC, and later, ABC. From 1956 through 1970 he co-anchored NBCs top rated nightly news program, The Huntley–Brinkley Report with Chet Huntley. ... This Week is one of the five network U.S. Sunday morning political talk shows. ... This is a list of television-related events in 1996. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


The last major news program created during Arledge's reign at ABC News was Primetime Live, in 1989. The program was originally anchored by Sam Donaldson and Diane Sawyer. Primetimes logo Primetime is a general-interest American news magazine show which debuted on ABC in 1989 with co-hosts Sam Donaldson and Diane Sawyer and originally had the title Primetime Live. ... This is a list of television-related events in 1989. ... Samuel Andrew Donaldson (born March 11, 1934 in El Paso, Texas) was a news anchor for ABC News, known for his persistence in questioning senior government officials up to and including the President of the United States. ... Diane Sawyer is a television journalist for the U.S. network ABC News and co-anchor of ABCs Good Morning America, along with with Robin Roberts. ...


In 1986, Arledge stepped down as president of ABC Sports. That same year, ABC's World News Tonight began a ten-year domination of the network news ratings. See also: 1985 in sports, other events of 1986, 1987 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Auto Racing Stock car racing: Geoff Bodine won the Daytona 500 NASCAR Championship - Dale Earnhardt CART Racing - Bobby Rahal Indianapolis 500 - Bobby Rahal Formula One Championship - Alain Prost of France 24...


In 1998, Arledge retired from ABC News; he died four years later, aged 71, following a battle with prostate cancer. Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancer develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. ...


Honors

Arledge was selected by Life magazine as one of the "100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century". Sports Illustrated ranked him number three in a list of "the 40 individuals who have most significantly altered or elevated the world of sports in the last four decades". A cover of Life Magazine from 1911 Life has been the name of two notable magazines published in the United States. ... The first issue of Sports Illustrated, August 16, 1954, showing Milwaukee Braves star Eddie Mathews at bat in Milwaukee County Stadium. ...


He was the winner of 37 Emmy Awards and in 1990 was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. In 2001, he was given the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. An Emmy Award. ... Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar). ... The Television Academy Hall of Fame was founded by a former president of the Television Academy, the late John H. Mitchell, to honor individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to television. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame of the National Football League (NFL). ...


Sources

  • Arledge, Roone. Roone. New York: Harper-Collins Publishers Inc., 2003.

Links & Sources

  • Roone Arledge bio at museum.tv
  • Roone bio
  • Roone Arlege Furneral by Peter Jennings
  • ESPN's Page 2 Roone's bio
  • Profile page for Roone Artledge at Find A Grave

  Results from FactBites:
 
ESPN Classic - Arledge brought modern innovations to TV sports (1286 words)
Arledge, who became president of ABC Sports in 1968, supervised coverage of 10 Olympics from 1964 to 1988, including the memorable 1972 games in Munich disrupted by a terrorist attack in which a somber McKay delivered the news of the deaths of the Israeli athletes.
Arledge's broadcast contributions to the NFL were recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001 when he was given the Pete Rozelle Radio and Television Award, named for the former commissioner.
Arledge could be prickly and elusive -- he was notorious for rarely returning phone calls -- and his inattention to the grunt work of management was a factor in his being gradually eased out of the news presidency.
Roone Arledge (1931-2002) (812 words)
Arledge, who became president of ABC Sports in 1968, supervised coverage of 10 Olympics from 1964 to 1988, including the memorable 1972 games in Munich disrupted by a terrorist attack in which a somber McKay delivered the news of the deaths of the Israeli athletes.
Arledge's broadcast contributions to the NFL were recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001 when he was given the Pete Rozelle Radio and Television Award, named for the former commissioner.
Arledge could be prickly and elusive, he was notorious for rarely returning phone calls, and his inattention to the grunt work of management was a factor in his being gradually eased out of the news presidency before retiring in 1998.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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