Sports TV News
Fred Gaudelli Wins Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Award
“Joining former award winners – not to mention colleagues and friends including John Madden, Al Michaels, Chris Berman, Dick Ebersol, Howard Katz and Andrea Kremer – makes this honor the greatest of my career.”
the NFL’s popularity has a lot to do with the way football is produced, and Fred Gaudelli has played a large part in that. Now, he is being honored for his work as this year’s recipient of the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“Pete Rozelle blazed the trail that enabled the National Football League to become America’s No. 1 entertainment entity,” Gaudelli said in a statement. “For 33 years and counting, I’ve had the privilege of contributing to that legacy by producing prime time games…. Joining former award winners – not to mention colleagues and friends including John Madden, Al Michaels, Chris Berman, Dick Ebersol, Howard Katz and Andrea Kremer – makes this honor the greatest of my career.”
Gaudelli began his producing career at ESPN on its Thursday college football package, and eventually produced the Big Monday and College World Series broadcasts for the network. In 1990, he was named the producer of Sunday Night Football on ESPN where he helped the franchise become a cable television institution. After a decade with ESPN, Gaudelli made the move to Monday Night Football on ABC – the place he first began working with legendary play-by-play announcer Al Michaels – to succeed producer Don Ohlmeyer.
When NBC Sports began broadcasting Sunday Night Football in 2006, Dick Ebersol recruited Gaudelli to produce games, during which the property won 30 Sports Emmy awards and finished as prime time television’s No. 1 show for 11 consecutive years. Gaudelli helped build the production for Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football broadcasts this past season with a commentary team of the aforementioned Michaels, Kirk Herbstreit and Kaylee Hartung.
Throughout his time in the sports media business, Gaudelli was partially responsible for a variety of technological innovations, including the implementation of Skycams, the first-and-10 yellow line and the rotating scorebox among others. He was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2020 and has produced seven Super Bowl broadcasts over the course of his career. Additionally, Gaudelli’s colleagues have spoken of him effusively on many occasions, lauding him as one of the most skilled producers in the history of the industry.
Gaudelli recently retired from working inside the production truck and now serves as the executive producer for both NBC’s Sunday Night Football and Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football. He will be situated in the studio for Sunday Night Football games and travel to select Thursday Night Football matchups to provide on-site support. His seminal and enduring legacy will now be enshrined in Canton, Ohio next to other athletes, personnel and sports media professionals, recognized among the top of his craft. The honor is set to be bestowed upon him during the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s enshrinement week, highlighted by the enshrinement ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 5.
“The Hall of Fame presents this award annually in recognition of longtime exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football, and no one has set a better example of that than Fred Gaudelli,” said Jim Porter, the president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “Millions of fans have tuned into Sunday Night Football week after week and year after year, and Fred continually took the broadcast to new heights.”
Sports TV News
Neil Everett Exits ESPN After 23 Years
“ESPN changed my life, but now it’s time for me to change my life.”
Neil Everett’s SportsCenter days are over. Front Office Sports reports that the anchor has chosen to say goodbye to ESPN after 23 years at the network.
“ESPN changed my life, but now it’s time for me to change my life,” Everett said. “Time to write a new chapter.”
The network reportedly offered Everett a new deal. Had he agreed to it, the anchor would have taken a salary reduction.
This is a significant moment for SportsCenter. Everett moving on means one of the show’s longest-tenured partnership comes to an end. He had worked with Stan Verrett since 2009.
Everett’s exit comes in the same week that it was revealed Chris Chelios would not return to the network’s NHL coverage next season. The Walt Disney Company is currently in the middle of trying to cut 7000 jobs to save $5.5 billion.
As for the future, Everett says he will seek to increase his TV role with the Portland Trail Blazers. He has been part of the team’s broadcast crew on NBC Sports Northwest for the last two years.
Sports TV News
Chris ‘The Bear’ Fallica To Make FOX TV Debut on Belmont Coverage
“Everyone I’ve worked and interacted with at the company has been so helpful and open to someone who has spent his entire professional life elsewhere.”
As the college football season was winding down, fans found out one of the foundational members of the College Gameday staff would be leaving ESPN. Chris “The Bear” Fallica left the network and has been working for FOX since the new year. This weekend during the network’s coverage of The Belmont Stakes, he will finally make his TV debut for his employers.
“It’s been great. This will be my first TV appearance, so I’m excited,” Fallica said in an interview with FOXSports.com. “But we’ve been cranking out content on the digital side since January, and I’m very happy with how the USFL picks have been going (4-0 last week for those of you counting at home). Everyone I’ve worked and interacted with at the company has been so helpful and open to someone who has spent his entire professional life elsewhere.”
Fallica, who worked for ESPN for nearly three decades, is going to be a major presence in FOX’s gambling content both on air and online. Making picks is nothing new. He had been doing it on College GameDay for years prior to his exit.
In addition to making football picks, horse racing is going to be a major part of what The Bear does for FOX. While this will be his TV debut on FOX, Fallica put the spotlight on one of his colleagues.
“It was a great decision to bring Tom [Durkin] back for this call. His voice is synonymous with the sport for a generation of racing fans, so it will be a treat to hear him call a race again.”
Durbin is coming out of retirement to call the race. This is the first year that the Belmont is airing on FOX as part of a rights deal with the New York Racing Association.
Sports TV News
FOX Reportedly Considering Replacing Reggie Bush on Big Noon Kickoff
“Marchand writes that the favorite to replace the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner is the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner. Mark Ingram II is expected to retire from the NFL and join FOX.”
It looks like changes are coming to FOX’s college football coverage. Andrew Marchand reports that the network is considering replacing Reggie Bush on Big Noon Kickoff.
Bush and the network reportedly argued over money before the 2022 season. FOX kicked the tires on multiple options, including Desmond Howard and Robert Griffin III of ESPN. Eventually, it decided to bring Bush back on a one year deal. With that deal set to expire and the two sides again at an impasse, FOX is eyeing other options.
Marchand writes that the favorite to replace the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner is the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner. Mark Ingram II is expected to retire from the NFL and join FOX.
If Ingram does join the show, he would be the first analyst from outside of the conferences FOX carries. Ingram played his college football at Alabama. He has since amassed more than 8000 yards over 13 seasons in the NFL.
FOX declined to comment on the report. Marchand reports that with no deal finalized, there is an outside shot that Ingram returns to the NFL, Bush returns to FOX and there is no change at all. That, however, is considered a long shot.