George Michael and the Sports Machine will run no more: Let’s go LIVE has died at age 70

Posted by Andy Durham on December 24, 2009 at 1:33 pm under Amateur, College, Professional | 4 Comments to Read

This program, “George Michael’s Sports Machine”, ran on almost every TV station in the Triad(2, 12, 16, 20, 45, 48, ) over the years, including TV 14 in Reidsville and the man with the voice that resonated over the airwaves is now dead here at Christmas….(The Sports Machine usually aired on Sunday nights at around 11:30pm)…..

Michael would say let’s go live and he would push the buttons and the tape machines would start rolling and he covered every sport including rodeo and wrestling and he was a big fan of rodeo’s Larry Mahan when Mahan first got started….George Michael also showcased rodeo stars Tuff Hederman and Ty Murray…..

Michael was ESPN long before those guys knew what time Sports Center was coming on.

from www.radio-info.com

The news on Mr. George Michael who has left us at age 70:

George Michael, former “Sports Machine” host, dies at 70

The “Famous 56” night radio jock and WFIL music director was at the center of the Philadelphia radio station that was one of the most-watched of the top-40 era.

He won several national Billboard radio personality of the year awards and also awards for his work as music director.

Michael had done record promotion for Motown and Scepter and DJ’d in Milwaukee (WRIT) and Denver (KBTR) before he came to WFIL in 1966. He stayed at ‘FIL with peers such as Jay Cook and Jim Nettleton until 1974, when he replaced Cousin Bruce Morrow at WABC, New York.

He remained in New York radio until 1980, as he explored his opportunities in sports, including doing play-by-play for the New York Islanders and filling in on “Speaking of Sports” for ABC-TV’s Howard Cosell. (In 1974, he’d turned down a fulltime job with the Baltimore Orioles.)

In 1980, says the excellent Philadelphia Broadcast Pioneers site, Michael took the full-time job as sports director for NBC-owned WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. He brought a bigger-than-life top 40 approach, and helped inspire the fast-clip presentation of ESPN and other modern sports programming.

Michael’s own “Sports Machine” went into TV syndication in 1984 and set a record for the longest-running locally-produced show in television syndication. The Washington Post notes that in 2007, Michael had “stepped down from the lead sportscaster position, to prevent further layoffs from the sports team.”

Then in 2008, George left Channel 4 completely, “after the station sought to cut the budget of the interview programs and segments he hosted.”

He died this morning (12/24), at Sibley Hospital, of cancer.


  • JD Baker said,

    This is terrible news. I remember watching him every Sunday night on the Triad television stations. He was a true pro and he had a special place in his heart for horses and equestrian related activities and he also did several key features on John Force and drag racing from tracks all over the United States.

    King George will always be the King of radio and the Sports Machine.

  • Bamm Bamm said,

    The George Michael Sports Machine was great!! A lot of folks at ESPN give it props for helping to sell the viability of the network!! I, too, remember the Sunday night show..I believe it came on WXII (I seem to remember it being on the NBC channel)!! He even did a spot for the first Wrestlemania!!! BIG PROPS to George!!!!

  • Al said,

    George was the best and there was nothing ever out there like that Sports Machine. He was a fine role model for the students up in DC and we should all remember this man and if anybody ever says something bad about him or tries to trash talk George then at that time I will personally kick their ****.

    He was like a daddy to me and please keep the tribute running on through the holidays. It won’t be the same at the Super Bowl this year without George there.

    George we’re gonna miss you man.

  • Andy said,

    I just watched a video clip of an interview that George Michael did with the Von Erich family and it was very impressive. The clip was on Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer.com……

    George Michael was the boss/king of those type of interviews. Those rodeo and drag racing pieces were great too……