Arledge, Roone Pinckney, Jr.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Arledge, Roone Pinckney, Jr.

Roone Pinckney Arledge, Jr., 1931–2002, American television executive, b. Forest Hills, N.Y., grad. Columbia (B.A., 1952). He was a producer-director (1955–60) at the National Broadcasting Company before joining the American Broadcasting Company where during three decades he made revolutionary changes in television sports and news production. Arledge created classic live sports programs, including "Wide World of Sports" (1961) and "Monday Night Football" (1968), and produced (1964–88) broadcasts of ten Olympic Games. Among his innovations were the production of sports events in prime time; the presentation of new sports on television; the use of moving and hand-held cameras, slow motion, instant replay, and other technologies; and the introduction of biographical segments on athletes. His successful shows was a key factor in the proliferation of sports programming on television. Arledge became president of ABC News in 1977 and within a decade the also-ran was America's dominant television news division. He introduced such popular programs as "World News Tonight," "20/20," and "Nightline" and attracted a wide variety of popular anchors, corrrespondents, sports announcers, and commentators to ABC.

See his memoir (2003); biography by M. Gunther (1994).

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