New York, NY – The annual Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which honors sports announcers, television and sports league executives, and everyone from the technical side of television such as cameramen, engineers, sound technicians, producers and directors, was held two weeks ago at the New York Hilton. Queens was certainly well represented at this year’s event.
Astoria native Bob Costas, who spent the bulk of his 45 year-career at NBC, and is currently a play-by-play voice and studio analyst with the MLB Network, was his usual witty self. He spoke about a meeting he had with then NBC Sports president Don Ohlmeyer when he first arrived at the Peacock Network.
Ohlmeyer was perturbed at his very boyish appearance. “How are you?” he asked. “27″ replied Costas. “How old do you think you’d look if you grew a beard?” Ohlmeyer asked. “32″ Costas quickly responded. “That would be great1″ Ohlmeyer countered. “Yes, because it would take me five years to grow one!” said Costas ending the conversation.
Costas thanked his longtime producer, Flushing denizen and Queens College alum, Michael Weisman for helping him become a better broadcaster. Weisman is a member of the Class of 2017 Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
Douglaston native Mary Carillo had to forsake a career on the professional women’s tennis circuit when knee problems became too much for her to overcome. She did not walk away from the sport however as she has been a tennis analyst for every conceivable TV network over the last 35 years.
Although tennis will always be her primary passion (it should be noted that she won the mixed doubles championship st the 1977 French Open with her childhood friend and neighbor John McEnroe), Carillo has proven that she can cover all sports and even hard news stories that have nothing to do with the world of fun and games.
In a nice touch, the sizzle reel showing highlights of Carillo’s broadcasting career were narrated by Whitestone native, Bayside High School alum, and NBC Sports anchor Mike Tirico. National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman grew up in Forest Hills’ Parker Towers and attended Russell Sage Junior High School before moving out to Long Island for high school.
Bettman has been running the NHL for the past 25 years and he joked that he has been booed by hockey fans for all of that time. While there are some debits on his record such as three work stoppages including the cancellation of the 2004-05 season, the NHL has grown form a $400 million industry in 1993 to an estimated $4.5 billion one in 2018.
There are 31 franchises and most seem to be doing well although there are a few laggards, The Stanley Cup Final is now shown on NBC after years of being off broadcast network TV.
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