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A Look into the Field of Sports Media:

A Conversation with Emmy Award-Winning Producers
Michael Weisman ’71 and Michael Cohen ’83

 

Michel Weisman, ’71
Award-winning TV Executive and Producer

In a career that spans major athletic events, late-night talk shows, daytime television, and morning news, Michael Weisman has reshaped sports television for the fast-paced modern age. In 2017 Michael was honored with an induction into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. He has won numerous other awards and honors, including 24 Emmys for work at NBC and FOX.

Michael began as an NBC page and later became executive producer of NBC Sports, the youngest in network sports history. The New York Times heralded him as “a wunderkind,” willing to gamble on unusual programming and unlikely production. He advanced sports journalism, enhanced game audio, and created new camera positions, such as the skycam. He was the producer of the announcer-less game, while also working closely with talents like Bob Costas, Marv Albert, and Vin Scully.

Michael has championed the advancement of women and minorities in sports television, including the first female play-by-play announcer, Gayle Sierens; the first female network sports host, Gayle Gardner; and the first NFL broadcast featuring two African American announcers.

Beyond his staggering sports resume—which comprises five Olympic Games, 12 World Series, and eight Super Bowls—Weisman stands apart for the breadth of his experiences. His work in late-night television (CBS executive producer), daytime programming (Jane Pauley’s syndicated talk show), morning news on network (NBC’s Today), and most recently cable (executive-in-charge of MSNBC’s Morning Joe) makes him the only television producer of his kind.

Michael attended QC from 1969 to 1971, graduating with a BA in communications arts and sciences. Along with his colleague Mike Cohen ’83, he started QC’s first sports production class and hopes one day to help create a sports broadcasting major.

 

Michael Cohen, ’83
President, Bizzy Signals Entertainment
(Executive Producer, Media Consultant, Producer, Director and Content Creator)

Michael Cohen has won eight National Emmy awards and has been nominated for Emmys 15 times. His diverse broadcasting career includes sports, entertainment, and music. He has created shows, launched successful startup media properties, produced major events, and headed talent development. His executive producer and producer credits include some of the world’s biggest events for all the major networks, including NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and ESPN. Michael was head of production for two FIFA World Cups, a Women’s World Cup, 15 MLS Cups and All-Star Games, and he has been a part of the production team for nine Olympic Games, the World Series, the Super Bowl, Indy 500, Kentucky Derby, Wide World of Sports, 14 NFL drafts, and the inaugural X Games.

Michael began his career at ESPN and helped lay the groundwork for the company now celebrated as the World Wide Leader in Sports and one of the most well-known global media brands. He was the first employee to move to ABC Sports following the Capital Cities purchase of ESPN, and was involved in the first phase of the merger of the two divisions under the Disney Corporation.

Michael’s vast experience and creative vision as an executive and producer is reflected in his current portfolio of projects. He is an executive producer for A+E Networks on Lifetime’s groundbreaking coverage of the National Women’s Soccer League. He also worked as a consultant for FOX Sports and its new FIFA World Cup division, which produced the highest rated soccer show in U.S. viewing history with the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

As President of Bizzy Signals Entertainment, Michael has produced entertainment shows, pay-per-view concerts, commercial and corporate productions, publishing, and international television, Internet, and program development. He has consulted for Brillstein-Grey Productions, New Line Cinemas, Dreamworks-SKG, HBO, and Liberman/Hirschfeld Casting on shows such as Seinfeld, Roc, and The Larry Sanders Show. Michael’s background in major events helped him to establish new ventures and create media businesses. In 2015 he formed Bizzy Media Ventures to focus on media investment opportunities.

Michael serves on the Advisory Board of the Sports Video Group and is a member of the Directors Guild of America.

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