SBD/15/Sports Media

ESPN PIONEER TOM MEES DEAD AT 46

     ESPN sportscaster Tom Mees died yesterday after drowning in
a neighbor's pool.  Mees, one of the original three announcers to
stay with ESPN since its inception in '79, was 46.  In the early
edition of "SportsCenter," ESPN's Charley Steiner announced the
news of Mees' death.  Steiner: "This has been a very difficult
day for us.  A member of our family passed away today.  And a
member of yours did too. ... Tom was a contemporary of mine, a
friend of mine, who was living his dream at the time of death."
In a tribute later, ESPN's Keith Olberman added, "Tom Mees was an
ESPN original, Tom Mees himself was an original. ... Nothing and
no one here will ever be the same without him" ("SportsCenter,"
ESPN, 8/14).  ESPN CEO Steve Bornstein said the "entire ESPN
family is devastated by this terrible news" (ESPN). CNN's Nick
Charles called Mees a "pioneer"  ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 8/14).
In Baltimore, Milton Kent notes Mees' "absence will be deeply
felt" (Baltimore SUN, 8/15).
     BLUE HEN: Mees was an anchor of "SportsCenter" from  '79-93.
He then did play-by-play for ESPN2's NHL coverage.  Graduating
from the Univ. of Delaware in '72, Mees spent six years as sports
director of WILM-AM in Wilmington, DE.   He then was sports
director at WECA-TV in Tallahassee, FL before going to ESPN.  He
is survived by his wife and two daughters (Darren Everson,
WASHINGTON POST, 8/15).
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