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.
The news on Mr. George Michael who has left us at age 70:
George Michael, former “Sports Machine” host, dies at 70
The â€œFamous 56â€ 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 â€˜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 â€œSpeaking of Sportsâ€ for ABC-TVâ€™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.
Michaelâ€™s own â€œSports Machineâ€ 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 â€œstepped down from the lead sportscaster position, to prevent further layoffs from the sports team.â€
Then in 2008, George left Channel 4 completely, â€œafter the station sought to cut the budget of the interview programs and segments he hosted.â€
He died this morning (12/24), at Sibley Hospital, of cancer.