SBD/July 20, 2012/Media

Bob Costas Considered Conscience Of NBC Sports, Face Of Olympics For U.S. Viewers

Costas will anchor NBC's primetime coverage of the London Games
NBC's Bob Costas is profiled by the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Marisa Guthrie, who notes Costas "for more than three decades, has been the conscience of NBC Sports," and for two decades, he "has been the face of the Olympics for U.S. viewers." Costas will again anchor the net's primetime Olympic coverage during the London Games, and at a time when "so much sports journalism toes the line, when LeBron James' 2010 free-agent ESPN infomercial hit a nadir in pandering and a 'don't shit where you eat' attitude colors the beat, Costas, 60, is almost singular in his approach." Former NBC Sports Group Chair Dick Ebersol said, "Bob was able to have his opinions and to ask the very people that we had billion-dollar contracts with very difficult questions." Guthrie reports during the Opening Ceremony next Friday, Costas "plans to call out the IOC for denying Israel's request for a moment of silence acknowledging the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches at the 1972 Games." Costas: "I intend to note that the IOC denied the request." Ebersol said, "There's a reality in business; there were times when I thought he got too forceful. But I'm very proud of the fact that Bob was able to be Bob." Guthrie notes by all accounts, current NBC Sports Group Chair Mark Lazarus "is also letting Bob be Bob." Lazarus: "He does not compromise his question-asking. But he does not lead the witness down any path other than the truth." Guthrie writes, "Nowhere was that more obvious than in his interview in the fall with Jerry Sandusky." The segment "ran for eight minutes, but Costas pushed for more." He said, "I felt like they should have blown out whatever segment was after it. They did make more time for it than they had originally formatted. Let's put it this way: They had a big inning but left a few men on base" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 7/27 issue).
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