Roone Arledge -- who changed the way people watch TV as a prime mover in the
development of news and sports programming -- died at 71 Thursday in New York of
complications from cancer.
Arledge served as president of ABC Sports from 1968 through 1986, and he was
behind the successful Monday Night Football and Wide World of
"Before Roone Arledge there were no replays. There were no slow-mo machines,"
said Dick Ebersol, an Arledge protégé who later became the president of NBC
Sports. "There was absolutely no prime time sports on any network."
Arledge was producer for 10 ABC Olympic Games broadcasts including the 1972 Munich
Games, which turned into a major and tragic news event when Palestinian
terrorists abducted and murdered 11 Israeli athletes.
He became president of ABC News in 1977, and he was behind World News
Tonight, Nightline, 20/20, Primetime, This Week with
David Brinkley and, ABC noted, This Week without David Brinkley.
Clearly recognized as a broadcasting giant, Arledge was a 37-time Emmy
Award-winner and a member of Broadcasting & Cable's Hall of Fame.
ABC News won 20 Peabody Awards, as well as the DuPont-Columbia Gold Baton
Award for overall excellence, under Arledge's leadership.
"Roone Arledge revolutionized television and, with it, the way people see and
understand the world," said David Westin, who replaced Arledge as president of
ABC News. "He was our leader and our friend, and we will miss his passion and his
will to make us all better than we were."