Saturday, June 7, 2008
Sports TV Legend Jim McKay Passes Away
I grew up watching Jim McKay tell me about the Wide World of Sports. He is the sole reason I began to focus on a career in sports television. Today, McKay passed away at his home in Maryland. He was 86 years old.
Veteran NASCAR fans may remember the sport creeping onto TV with McKay exposing the southern boys on Saturday afternoon's Wide World of Sports. A wide variety of ABC announcers from Keith Jackson to the late Chris Schenkel were involved in the coverage.
McKay was a stoic presence in the studio and in the field. His on-air calm was never put to the test more than during the Munich Olympics of 1972. Arab terrorists were involved in a bizarre hostage situation that ultimately ended in the death of both the terrorists and the athletes. As the on-site studio presence, McKay handled this news assignment with his characteristic grace and professionalism.
McKay's given last name was McManus, and his son Sean is currently the Executive in Charge of both the CBS News and Sports divisions. McKay was quiet away from the TV world and married for 59 years. Here are some good links to stories about McKay:
Pioneer Sports Broadcaster Dies at 86 from NY Times (Frank Litsky/Richard Sandomir)
Legendary Sports Broadcaster Dies from the Associated Press (Various reporters)
Video Link of McKay Racing Highlights from Orlando Sentinel
Video Link of McKay's Archive of American Television Interview (From YouTube)
Please feel free to post your comments about McKay and your memories of his work on TV. Non-NASCAR posts will be accepted for this special post. Just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. Thank you.