New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Category Archives: Television sports

Roone Arledge


Roone Arledge (Television sports.  Born, Forest Hills, NY, July 8, 1931; died, New York, NY, Dec. 5, 2002.)  As the originator of “Wide World of Sports” and Monday Night Football for ABC-TV Sports, Roone Pinckney Arledge was a formative figure in the development of sports television.  After graduating from Columbia in 1953, Arledge joined the DuMont Network (then the third-largest in the U.S.) as a production assistant.  In 1955, he moved to NBC, where he specialized in children’s programming and public affairs.  Arledge joined ABC Sports in 1960, rapidly becoming vice president (1963) and then president (1968) of the division.  “Wide World of Sports” was introduced in 1961 when ABC-TV’s only major sports programming was Sunday afternoon American Football League games.  Later, Arledge introduced “The American Sportsman” to the network and, in 1970, when the merger of the A.F.L. and N.F.L. four years earlier became effective, Monday Night Football.  Then came the Summer Olympic Games in 1972 and 1976.  A year after the second Olympiad on the network, Arledge was named president of ABC News and, in 1985, group vice president of news and sports.  He won 10 Emmys and three George F. Peabody Awards.

Dick Bailey


Dick Bailey (Television sports.  Born, Macon, GA, Dec. 10, 1910; died, Holmdel, NJ, Oct. 25, 1991.)  In 1956, Richard E. Bailey founded Sports Network, Inc., largely to provide equipment and engineering for sports remote pickups.  Bailey’s S.N.I. trucks soon became ubiquitous at big league ballparks, arenas, and racetracks.  In Dec. 1968, he sold the company to Howard Hughes, who renamed it Hughes Sports Network (later Hughes Television Network), but Bailey remained as the company’s president until he retired in 1973.  At one time, Hughes carried road-game local television feeds for 25 out of 26 major league baseball teams.  Bailey also owned Overbrook Farms in Colts Neck, N.J., where he bred thoroughbred horses that he also raced.

Mike McCarthy


Mike McCarthy (Television sports. Born, The Bronx, NY, April 1, 1960.) Executive producer of MSG Sports (1992-2005) and FOX Sports New York (1997-2005), Mike McCarthy was chief production executive for Mets, Knicks, Liberty, Rangers, Nets, Islanders, and Devils telecasts, and various sports news productions on these cable networks. McCarthy was also executive producer of Yankees telecasts from 1992 until 2002, when they moved to the new YES Network. He served as president of MSG Network for nearly three years before resigning in February 2005, though he remained as a consultant to the network. Son of the late Johnny McCarthy, head groundskeeper at Shea Stadium, he first worked for the MSG Network in 1982 as an intern.  He later became chief executive officer of the N.H.L.’s St. Louis Blues.

Leon Schweir


Leon Schweir (Television sports.  Born, Manchester, CT, Aug. 17, 1952.)  Beginning his career with Connecticut Public Television in 1974, Leon Schweir worked with born ESPN and USA Network in 1979-80 before joining MSG Network as a staff producer and director in 1980.  Schweir produced Knicks telecasts from 1983-89, when MSG began televising the Yankees, and he became producer of those telecasts (1989-2001).  He has also done Rangers hockey, college basketball, and the New York City Marathon for various outlets, including ESPN, WPIX, Fox Network Sports, and CBS-TV Sports.  A graduate of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., Schweir directed tennis coverage at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, for NBC-TV Sports.  In 2007, he was named the first producer of the Big Ten Network.

Bill Webb


Bill Webb (Television sports.  Born, West Orange, NJ, Jan. 6, 1951.)  Winner of three national Emmys, three New York Emmys, and four Eclipse awards in horse racing, Bill Webb is perhaps the best director now active in television sports.  Webb’s career began with an 18-year stint at WOR-TV (now WWOR) that started in 1969.  In 1971, he became associate director of Mets telecasts.  Webb became Channel 9’s director for Mets games in 1979 and assumed the additional duties of producer two years later.  After the 1987 season, he moved to ABC-TV and in 1992 joined MSG Network to direct Yankees telecasts while continuing to direct other major events (such as thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown races) for ABC-TV.  In 1995, Webb directed the National League playoffs and World Series for ABC and then shifted to FOX Network Sports, where he directed the playoffs and World Series starting in 1996

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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