WASHINGTON — George Michael, a veteran Washington sportscaster who gained national recognition with his syndicated “The George Michael Sports Machine” highlights show, died Thursday. He was 70.
Michael’s daughter, Michelle Allen, said Michael died from complications of chronic lymphocytic leukemia at Sibley Memorial Hospital.
Michael worked at Washington’s WRC-TV for 28 years until his resignation in 2008. The Washington Post said Michael left the station over budget cuts his programs were facing.
“George Michael was our friend and colleague for more than 25 years. He was a dynamic force around our newsroom and in the entire Washington area,” the station said in a statement Thursday. “George was a pioneer in sports broadcasting. He was a gifted interviewer, a master storyteller, and one of the hardest working journalists out there. Our hearts go out to his wife Pat and his daughter Michelle, both of whom also worked with us for many years, as well as the rest of his family.”
Michael’s highlight-rich program, which launched in 1984, eventually morphed into “The George Michael Sports Machine” and was syndicated to more than 200 stations at its peak.
“George was the consummate reporter and a valuable friend,” Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder said in a statement. “I doubt we’ll ever again see a sports reporter who was so admired by the people he covered.”