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An Ebersol moment: Ali and the ’96 flame

Published in SportsBusiness Journal on 05 / 18 / 15

One of the most famous images in U.S. Olympic history — Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic torch at the Atlanta Games — almost didn’t happen. Just seven months before the start of the Atlanta Games, Olympic organizers had decided that Evander Holyfield — a hometown hero &md...

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05/18/15
An Ebersol moment: Ali and the ’96 flame

One of the most famous images in U.S. Olympic history — Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic torch at the Atlanta Games — almost didn’t happen. Just seven months before the start of the Atlanta Games, Olympic organizers had decided that Evander Holyfield — a hometown hero &md ...

Tags: Sports Business Awards, Media

05/18/15
Assessment of today’s talent on TV

One Sunday in the middle of the 2013 NFL season, Dick Ebersol was so enthused by what he saw on-screen that he reached out to Fox Sports President Eric Shanks, who was in Fox’s control room in Los Angeles. Ebersol wanted to compliment Kevin Burkhardt, a new play-by-play voice calling NFL ga ...

Tags: Sports Business Awards, Media

05/18/15
Ebersol's fashion files

When Discovery Communications President and CEO David Zaslav showed up wearing a sweater vest at a sports business conference in the fall of 2014, he smiled and described it as his sports “uniform.” Zaslav, who worked with Dick Ebersol from 1989 until he left NBC in 2007, wanted to dr ...

Tags: Sports Business Awards, Media

05/18/15
No regrets following heart attack scare

Dick Ebersol suffered a heart attack in 1996 and was hospitalized while in San Antonio for the NBA All-Star Game. These are his memories of that weekend: “We got to San Antonio for the All-Star Game on Thursday night. The night before in New York, I had dinner with Dick Schultz, who was ...

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05/18/15
Ebersol stands by critique of Conan

Dick Ebersol laughed when he spied an issue of The Hollywood Reporter from 2011. The magazine took issue with his critique of late-night host Conan O’Brien as an “astounding failure.” The magazine said Ebersol was “too harsh” and described the moment as one of his caree ...

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05/18/15
Ebersol discusses his final day at NBC

On his last day at 30 Rock, Dick Ebersol walked into NBCUniversal President and CEO Steve Burke’s office around 9:45 a.m. for a five-minute meeting. It was May 19, 2011, and Ebersol left an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski after 45 minutes to go upstairs and see Burke ...

Tags: Sports Business Awards, Media

05/18/15
Lifetime Achievement: Dick Ebersol

Love, loyalty and affection are the words most often used by Dick Ebersol's friends when describing their relationship with him. Photo by: PATRICK E. MCCARTHY D ick Ebersol owns a ...

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05/18/15
‘Videos’ helped spawn ‘Later’

A unique business deal for Dick Ebersol helped turn “Friday Night Videos” into a cultural hit. As creator and producer for a late-night show dedicated to music videos from 1983 until 1989, Ebersol went against the industry norm and started paying for the videos — around $2,500 t ...

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05/18/15
Last-ditch effort to keep Madden in the NBC game

When legendary NFL analyst John Madden announced he was retiring in April 2009, Dick Ebersol immediately worked on a plan to keep him on the air. Ebersol offered a split, half-season schedule to keep Madden on NBC, but longtime br ...

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05/18/15
After changes, Ebersol assesses rivals

Since Dick Ebersol left NBC Sports Group in 2011, the sports media industry has gone through a period of big executive changes, as many of the networks’ larger-than-life personalities who dominated the industry for decades have left. ...

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