An Associate Producer’s Dilemma

Jack Dolan was with the ABC-TV Network Sports Dept. (then called Sports Programs, Inc.) in New York City from 1963-65 and had a couple of titles: Production Assistant and Associate Producer.  Most of his work assignments were with “ABC’s Wide World of Sports” program, but some were with ABC Sports specials.

So you might want to get into a Network Sports TV career? Be careful for what you wish! Better check that job description carefully!

Back in the summer circa 1964, I was serving as a Production Assistant/Associate Producer with the ABC-TV Sports Dept. under the direction of Roone Arledge and working with such famed sportscasters as Jim McKay, Curt Gowdy, Bill Flemming, et. al. One of my assignments took me to Buffalo (in June, luckily, and not in the midst of one of Buffalo’s prodigious snowstorms!) for a College Football All-Star game at War Memorial Stadium. Among other players who I recall being in that game was quarterback Daryle LaMonica from my Alma Mater, Notre Dame.

At any rate, the “talent” assigned to broadcast that game was the late and great Chris Schenkel who is to be enshrined this month (December, 2014) in the Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame. As luck would have it, Schenkel (a licensed pilot who owned his own plane) decided to fly up to Buffalo from Teterboro Airport instead of travelling with us. He packed his yellow blazer with him, but unfortunately it was with the “Wide World of Sports” pocket logo instead of the “ABC Sports” logo which this particular football telecast special was.

It became my job to get the correct logo patch pocket sewed on to Schenkel’s jacket. Not being much of a tailor, I went into the stands a couple of hours prior to kickoff looking desperately for some help. Fortunately I came upon a mother-daughter fan tandem who happened to have a sewing kit with them. When I told them of our plight and asked if they could help, they were thrilled to work on Chris’ jacket and attach the correct “ABC Sports” logo, an extra one of which I luckily had with me. The telecast proceeded to go smoothly and ended happily for all concerned. But it proved once again that you just never know what goes on behind the cameras!  — Jack Dolan

Original Comments:

Martin Cobern said…

I guess a stitch in time DOES save careers. And vice versa (as in Jane Jackson.)

December 22, 2014 02:59:38


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *