Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Shorts

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Shorts

Article excerpt

ABC Sports Executive Killed In TWA Crash

The executive producer of ABC Sports, his wife and their 13-year-old daughter were aboard the TWA jetliner that exploded Wednesday night off the Long Island coast, network officials said Thursday. Authorities said all 230 people aboard were killed.

Jack O'Hara, 39, a five-time Emmy Award-winner, was on the Paris-bound flight to supervise coverage of the final weekend of the Tour de France bicycle race. It was to be his last assignment for ABC, said Mark Mandel, director of media relations for ABC Sports.

ABC Sports reportedly had dismissed him. Mandel said ABC does not comment on personnel matters. The network has had a flurry of top executive departures since its takeover in January by Walt Disney Co.

O'Hara, who was appointed executive producer of ABC Sports in April 1991, was responsible for all aspects of the production of ABC Sports telecasts, including NFL "Monday Night Football" and "ABC's Wide World of Sports."

O'Hara spoke to a colleague from the TWA's terminal shortly before boarding Flight 800 with his wife, Janet, and daughter, Caitlin, Mandel said. Their twin boys, Brian and Matthew, 12, were at the O'Hara home in Irvington, N.Y., with their grandparents.

Said Mandel: "It's a surreal atmosphere at ABC Sports and at the network. No one believes it actually happened. It's been a nightmare."


Messier Would Redo Deal To Help NY Get Gretzky

New York Rangers captain Mark Messier said he would be willing to defer part of his $6 million salary for next season if it would help get Wayne Gretzky, who played out his option with the Blues, into a Rangers uniform.

"I have no problem with Wayne coming in here and making more money than me," Messier said. "Championships are more important than money now for both of us. I won't use my situation to stop (management) from making the team better."

The Rangers are in the running to sign the unrestricted free-agent center, the National Hockey League's career scoring leader.

The San Jose Sharks signed free-agent goaltender Kelly Hrudey to a two-year contract worth more than $2 million. Hrudey, 35, had a 7-15-10 record in 36 games last season with the Los Angeles Kings. …

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