Friday's intriguing people
NBC Sports executive Dick Ebersol was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame with the 2006 class.
May 20th, 2011
10:40 AM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Dick Ebersol

Along with ABC's Roone Arledge, Ebersol has defined the art of network sports coverage. Ebersol transformed the Olympic Games from a distant event into must-see TV that had an impact on all of broadcast journalism.

Thus, Ebersol's abrupt resignation as chairman of NBC Sports is a blow to the modern Olympic movement, said Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times. Ebersol is to the Olympic Games  and athletes "as butter is to bread," Dwyre said.

"What he has done has been a service to athletes globally," Peter Ueberroth, the former U.S. Olympic Committee chairman and head of the 1984 Los Angeles Games, told the Los Angeles paper.

For NBC, the timing is horrible. Ebersol's resignation comes a few weeks before the International Olympic Committee holds a meeting with U.S. networks to decide on broadcast rights for the 2014 and 2016 Games.

Neither Ebersol nor NBC revealed what prompted his resignation, although The New York Times, which first reported the story, said Ebersol, 63, could not agree on a new contract with Comcast, which merged with NBC in January.

Rob Summers

Five years ago, Summers was paralyzed from the chest down by a hit-and-run driver. The British journal Lancet reported Thursday that Summers is the subject of an "unprecedented" therapeutic treatment that has allowed him to take a few steps, regain movement in various parts of his body, and  with some assistance  stand up for an hour at a time. According to the Los Angeles Times, researchers from the University of Louisville, University of California, Los Angeles, and the California Institute of Technology treated Summers' spinal cord with a form of electronic stimulation. "To everyone's disbelief," Summers told the Times, "I was able to stand independently the third day they turned it on."

Tom Shales and James Miller

In 2002, Shales, then a Washington Post columnist, and Miller, a former CNN executive producer, wrote an uncensored account of "Saturday Night Live's" formative years that remained on the best-seller list for 15 weeks. The two have reunited for a similar treatment of ESPN.

"Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN," to be released Tuesday, features personalities including Chris Berman, Robin Roberts, Erin Andrews and Keith Olbermann as well as some major sports stars, including Michael Jordan. The Los Angeles Daily News says the media-embargoed work has stories of "jock entitlement, sexcapades, drug use and workplace backstabbing" among the ESPN personnel. The book is already in the top five on Amazon.com.

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Filed under: Most Intriguing People • Sports • TV
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Taco Joe

    YES ! 2 days in a row ! For the last two days I have been the most intriuging person ! Its acause I eat soooo many tacos ! Tacos and burritos OLE !

    May 20, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ellis from Panama

    I want to be in the olympics. I like the javelin. I like working with my hands and rods.

    May 20, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cricket

    Huh.
    Remember when Dick Ebersol took over for Lorne Michaels producing "Saturday Night Live?"

    We call that "SNL: The Boring Years".

    May 20, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Send In The Trolls

    @Taco Joe: I'll admit it; I'm intrigued.

    May 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cricket

    @Taco Joe:
    Do you drink cold Bud Light from a glass with those enchiladas?

    May 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ellis from Panama

    I drive a 4 shift. I can handle that stick so well. But then of course, I'm experienced.

    May 20, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ellis from Panama

    I love sausage. Big.

    May 21, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |