Bill Mazer, one of the pioneers of sports talk radio and a University of Michigan alumnus, has died at the age of 92. He wasn’t the first to use sports talk as a form of radio entertainment, but long before ESPN popularized 24-hour sports broadcasting and decades before we would have access to Internet streaming of sports talk shows from all over the country, there was Bill Mazer’s late afternoon sports talk show on New York City’s WNBC-AM. He made sports talk popular on radio and TV by succeeding in New York City.
OT: R.I.P. Bill Mazer, Michigan Man and Pioneer of Sports Talk Radio
For a long time, I'd thought that Bill Mazer had been the first person to have a sports talk show on radio. I remember listening to his show during its early years on WNBC radio. But then I watched the HBO documentary about Marty Glickman and discovered that Marty Glickman's radio sports show pre-dated Bill Mazer's show. . . . And yeah, I'm old, too.
grew up on the same street as the Mazers; son Arnie was my camp counselor a long time ago.
I haven't thought of that name in 25 years, since when I was a little kid and got a couple of his books of "amazin" sports facts as Christmas presents. They were nice, trivia filled books that were fun to skip around in. Never knew who he was -- now I do. Sounds like he was a good, and influential, guy. Thanks for the heads up.
"“The first call was a kid, and he said, ‘I just want to ask you one question,’ ” Mazer said. “I said, ‘OK, go ahead.’ He said, ‘Who’s better: Willie Mays or Mickey Mantle?’
That part of the story made me laugh. What a great way for a transformational event in sports broadcasting to begin. Here is the NYT obituary which has a pretty good description of his career - LINK.
that I skipped over this thread several hours ago. I just made up for lost time, though, and read all the links above. Though the name "Bill Mazer " didn't ring a bell for me, his career was quite the story. Olberman's tribute to Mazer was nothing short of awesome.
Sure hope this thread got many more reads than comments!
Maybe if I'd originally mentioned in the subject line that Bill Mazer was a Michgan Man, there might've been more comments. I'm assuming that most MGoBloggers are not familiar with Bill Mazer because he became famous in sports broadcasting long before most MGoBloggers were born, and he has very little connection to Michigan sports. But if you were living in the New York City area between 1964 and the early 1990s, Bill Mazer was a fixture in New York sports. . . . Until I read Bill Mazer's obituary, I hadn't known that he'd been an alumnus of the University of Michigan. Unlike Adam Schefter, when Bill Mazer appeared on TV, I don't think I ever saw a mini version of Michigan's winged helmet in the background.