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

Category Archives: Television

Harry Coyle


Harry Coyle (Television.  Born, Ridgewood, NJ, Jan. 6, 1922; died, Des Moines, IA. Feb. 19, 1996.)  Noted for taking advantage of television’s expanding technology, Harry Coyle was the director of NBC Television Sports for most major events for more than four decades.  Coyle became famous for his work on the World Series, which NBC began televising in 1947.  As lenses improved and internal cabling transmission developed, he began extending cameras to various parts of the ballpark.  Coyle also eagerly included hand-held (originally called “creepie-peepie”) cameras when they came on line.  He directed his last events in 1992.

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Chet Forte


Chet Forte (College basketball and television.  Born, Hackensack, NJ, Aug. 7, 1935; died, San Diego, CA, May 18, 1996.)  One of the most celebrated sports directors of his time and a college basketball star despite standing only 5’9”, Folvio Chester Forte lived life to the fullest.  At Columbia, he became the first player ever to score 500 points in a season (559 in 25 games) as a sophomore in 1954-55.  Forte possessed an arsenal of shots including a quick jumper and an old-style two-handed set, but it was his speed that earned his the nickname “Chet the Jet” and also equalized his lack of height.  His scoring prowess helped drive the Lions into a three-way tie for the Ivy League title, but they lost the final game of a round-robin playoff to Princeton.  As a junior, Forte was again averaging 22.4 and Columbia was leading the league when he was declared academically ineligible for failing chemistry.  Columbia finished second by one game.  In his senior season, Forte broke his own school record with 694 points in 24 games (28.9) and finished fifth in the national scoring race.  His career total of 1,611 points stood as a Columbia record until 1970.  On Feb. 13, 1957, he set a single-game mark with 45 points against Penn (a record not broken until 1991).  Forte later became an Emmy Award-winning director of sports television with ABC-TV (particularly on Monday Night Football), but his compulsive gambling created financial problems that eventually cost him his position.  He subsequently rehabilitated himself and became the host of a popular sports talk show on a San Diego radio station.

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Pete Silverman


Pete Silverman (Radio-television producer.  Born, Providence, RI, April 11, 1947.)  After a career as a sportscaster in Atlanta, Ga. (1969-70) and Philadelphia (1970-82), Silverman served as executive producer of MSG Network from 1982 to January 1994, when he moved to SportsChannel New York.  When SportsChannel was brought under the MSG umbrella in 1997, Silverman became vice president and executive producer of MSG’s radio network, a job he held for seven years.  In 2007, he was named senior executive producer of ESPN’s New York radio station, 1050 AM (WEPN).

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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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About Bill Shannon

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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