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Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame

By: Chris Homsley (with input from Michael Goldman)

Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame

Jim Nantz (credit: Sports Video Group)


What a great word. It’s something I find myself doing frequently (mostly during Powerball drawings), but at this time of year I use it for something else.

So, with apologies to John Lennon…

Imagine the pressure of producing a show that recognizes the best of the best in the Sports Broadcasting industry.

Imagine having that show in a beautiful ballroom – but one that isn’t built to accommodate the technical requirements needed to properly stage the event for the room full of luminaries and legends who have the highest expectations of quality in any live show they are involved in (Think; Superbowl, Olympics, The Masters and The World Series just to name a few).

Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame

New York Hilton’s Trianon Ballroom (credit: Chris Homsley)

And now, imagine you have to do this with only 1 hour and 45 minutes to turn the room (from the series of general sessions that have been in it for the past 8 hours).

The Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, the annual event at the New York Hilton’s Trianon Ballroom, was held on December 11, 2012.

While there are the many months of pre-production associated with any show, what makes this show unique is the tight turn around from the Sports Video Group’s League Technology Summit to a full-on formally set ballroom in less than 2 hours.

Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame

Tech Rehearsal (credit: Chris Homsley)

In that short amount of time, there are cameras to be loaded in, audio and video playback to check, prompter and graphics to install, additional lighting that’s being added just for the transitions on and off stage. And hardest of all… to TRY and get in a tech rehearsal from memory since you are waiting to cue the script that is still being revised in the offline rehearsal room 1 floor above you.

Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame

Paul Gallo, Ken Aagaard, and Michael Goldman (credit: Chris Homsley)

Michael Goldman, who takes time off from his position as a Senior Executive Producer for Freeman to produce this charity event for a few hundred of the most important people in sports calls it a “work of love”, but one that he claims makes him more nervous than producing a show with an audience of hundreds of thousands in attendance.

“We have people like Dick Ebersol in the audience. I can’t tell you how stressful it is knowing you have that level of producer in the audience (8 of the top 10 most watched sports events in history were produced by Ebersol), and we are doing a show in a room that doesn’t even have enough hang points to fly a rig to properly light the stage for IMAG,” says Goldman.

“Not only that, the crew came in on Sunday, loaded in over-night to be ready for a conference on Monday, Operated the conference, finished loading in on Monday night for the League Technology Summit on Tuesday, operated the Summit all day on Tuesday and are now getting ready to run the HOF before having to strike it all.”

Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame

The show’s temporary tech booth (credit: Chris Homsley)

“Some of my show crew are running on only a couple of hours sleep over the past 2 days.”

“Oh, and did I mention the show itself will be the dress rehearsal?”

Since it’s inception in 2007, the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame) hosted each year by CBS Lead play by play announcer Jim Nantz (and once with co-host Bob Costas) has inducted such greats as Roone Arledge, Howard Cosell, Jim McCay, Pete Rozelle, Vin Scully, Don Ohlmeyer, Curt Gowdy, Keith Jackson, Dick Enberg, John Madden, George Steinbrenner, Pat Summerall, Dick Ebersol, Bill France, Jack Buck and many, many more.

This recent Hall of Fame’s class (the 6th produced by Goldman) was made up of ESPN Executive Chairman George Bodenheimer, audio pioneer Ray Dolby, famed NFL commentator Frank Gifford, CBS and Fox Sports visionary production executive Ed Goren, trailblazing NBC cameraman Cory Leible, longtime NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, NBC operations and engineering guru Jack Weir, and iconic broadcaster Jack Whitaker.

The SBHOF is supported by the dedication of the Sports Video Group and is the brainchild of Ken Aagaard (CBS Sports).

Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame

Michal Goldman at work in the shadows (credit: Chris Homsley)

According to Jason Dachman, SVG Managing Editor, the ceremony not only praised those who have laid the foundation for today’s sports-broadcasting landscape but also remembered industry professionals suffering personal tragedy, with all ticket sales for this year’s ceremony go directly to the SVG Sports Broadcasting Fund. In addition, the Hall encourages attendees to contribute to the fund to assist industry professionals and their families in need. Donations can also be made on the funds website.

After eight new inductee’s were successfully enshrined in the Hall of Fame, Goldman can breathe again (until next year).

Stage Manager and Associate Producer Greg Fox laughs and say’s it all came together “just like in rehearsal.”

Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame

LSP Board members Greg Fox, Colin Cosell, Chris Homsley, and Michael Goldman celebrating a successful show.
(credit: Jennifer Harper)

Key production staff for the show:

  • Michael Goldman – Producer
  • Greg Fox – Stage Manager
  • Colin Cosell – voice over talent
  • Thom Paris – Graphics
  • Meghan Predergast – Prompter
  • Bexel – Audio Visual Support
  • Alyssa Goldman – Prod. Assistant / Talent Coordinator

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