The Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame is proud to announce that the Class of 2020-21 will be formally inducted in-person on December 14, 2021, at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City. The Class was originally announced in 2020 but, due to the pandemic, the formal induction ceremonies were postponed until this year.
The Class of 2020-21 features nine legendary professionals who have made an indelible mark on the sports-TV and -media industry both in front of and behind the camera. The Inductees are Charles Barkley, James Brown, Don Cornelli, Tim Finchem, John Filippelli, Hugo Gaggioni, Fred Gaudelli, Phyllis George, and Tom Sahara.
Ken Aagaard, Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame Chairman, says this year’s inductees all played a part in laying the foundation of professionalism and excellence that has been best exemplified by the efforts in recent months to get sports TV production back on air.
“2020 will be remembered by those in our industry as a year when the collective resolve, dedication, and focus of our industry helped sports broadcasting get back on air,” says Aagaard. “This year’s inductees are a great reminder and celebration of the type of visionaries and leaders that make our industry so strong.”
This year’s inductees are:
James “JB” Brown: Three-time Emmy Award-winner “JB” serves as host for the CBS Television Network’s NFL pregame show, The NFL Today. He has hosted the network’s pregame show for its coverage of Super Bowl 50 (2016), Super Bowl XLVII (2013), Super Bowl XLIV (2010), and Super Bowl XLI (2007). He served as host of Fox NFL Sunday for 12 years prior to returning to CBS Sports in 2006 as host of The NFL Today and play-by-play announcer for the network’s coverage of college basketball, including the NCAA Tournament.
Charles Barkley: “Sir Charles” is in his 16th season as an analyst on TNT’s Emmy Award-winning studio show Inside the NBA. Over his career, Barkley has earned a reputation as a straight shooter who offers solid insights along with plenty of humor and laughs. Since 2011, he has served as a studio analyst for CBS and Turner’s NCAA Division I Men’s Championship coverage.
Don Cornelli: Cornelli has been a camera operator for NFL football for 30 years and has also covered a large number of other sports: NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAA, PGA, NASCAR, the Olympics, and the World Cup. Known for his handheld-camera work, Cornelli endeavors to get viewers as close as possible to the action and is a mainstay on the sidelines of some of the NFL’s biggest games.
John Filippelli: YES Network President, Production & Programming, and Executive Producer, Filippelli — or “Flip” — is one of the most respected and innovative executives in all of sports television and has left an indelible mark on both the national and RSN stages. Over his 46-year career, Flip has been a gamechanger in production, original programming, and as an architect, leaving a legacy of sustained excellence and consistency at NBC, FOX, ABC/ESPN, The Baseball Network, and the YES Network.
Tim Finchem: Under Finchem’s 22-year tenure as the PGA TOUR Commissioner from 1994 through 2016, prize money skyrocketed, moving from under $100 million on three tours in 1994 to more than $400 million on six tours when he retired in 2017. He created signature events in today’s game, including the FedExCup and the FedExCup Playoffs, the Presidents Cup and the World Golf Championships. THE PLAYERS Championship also became a must-see TV event, part of Finchem’s impact that expanded far beyond the PGA TOUR as he left his mark on the global game. He also spearheaded efforts to coordinate the bid for golf’s return to the Olympics, which became a reality in the 2016 Games after a 112-year absence.
Hugo Gaggioni: Gaggioni, currently CTO of Sony Electronics, joined Sony in 1988 and since then has been a key force in the company’s efforts around next-generation formats like the move to digital recording formats, HDTV, UHD, and more. He holds several patents and has authored more than 40 technical publications in the areas of video compression, digital filter banks, HDTV, and UHDTV devices and systems.
Fred Gaudelli: Gaudelli is executive producer of NBC’s Sunday Night Football, recently completing his 30th season as the lead producer for an NFL primetime game and his 11th season producing SNF. A 24-time Emmy Award winner, Gaudelli has produced six Super Bowls and, prior to joining Sunday Night Football, Gaudelli spent five seasons as producer of ABC’s Monday Night Football. He was named senior coordinating producer at ESPN in November 1996.
Phyllis George: George broke through as a sportscaster in 1974 and, the following year, joined the team of The NFL Today. She played a key part of the show for the next three years, and again from 1980-84. She was an inspiration to a generation of women who followed her on air, changing sports broadcasting forever.
Tom Sahara: For 21 years, Sahara served as VP of Operations and Technology for Turner Sports where he oversaw the studio and remote broadcast facilities for Turner Sport’s live event coverage, as well as its online properties. He also played a key role in Turner’s production collaboration with CBS Sports on events like March Madness and the PGA Championship. Previously, he was host of technical operations of various venues for the 2000 Sydney Summer Games and 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games. He served as Chairman of the SVG Advisory Board from 2013 to 2018.
The 2020-21 Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will begin at 5:00 p.m. ET with a cocktail reception in an expanded ballroom, and the Ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m ET. In keeping with the health & safety policy of the New York Hilton Midtown, all event attendees must provide proof of vaccination to attend this event, and SVG reserves the right to adjust its health policies in keeping with local and federal governmental recommendations.
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As always, 100% of all ticket sales will go directly to the SVG Sports Broadcasting Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity that is dedicated to providing assistance to sports-industry professionals and their families in times of need.
For more information on the SVG Sports Broadcasting Fund, CLICK HERE