A sports fan from a young age, Mike persuaded the prep school he attended near Princeton to build a small press box at the football field so that he could more easily watch games and report the scores to The Times of Trenton.

He studied radio, television and film at the University of Miami but dropped out in the mid-1960s during his senior year for an internship at the local television station WTVJ, where he would become an on-air sports reporter and a producer. After several years at the station, he went to work for Mr. Snyder. He joined CBS Sports as an N.B.A. editor in 1975.

After his second stint at CBS ended in 1995, Mr. Pearl moved to Turner Sports, where he oversaw production at TNT and TBS. As the executive producer, he initiated the first on-screen crawl of fantasy football statistics during TNT’s Sunday night N.F.L. game broadcasts; hired a still-active player, the quarterback Warren Moon, as a studio analyst, a rarity at the time; and produced TNT’s afternoon coverage of the 1998 Winter Olympics from Nagano, Japan.

But his most enduring contribution at TNT was how he dealt with the opinionated Mr. Barkley, who joined the host Ernie Johnson Jr. and the analyst Kenny Smith on “Inside the NBA” after his Hall of Fame playing career ended in 2000. Mr. Barkley fit easily into the cast and added frissons of humor and controversy with his views on players, politics and race.

“He let me be me,” Mr. Barkley said by phone. “But when you’re me, you’re always on a tightrope. He didn’t try to rein me in, but when I got into trouble, he’d say, ‘Let’s talk about this.’ He was like my grandfather. I didn’t want to disappoint him.”

Mr. Pearl returned to ABC Sports in 2003 as executive producer and remained there for two years until ESPN took over its operations in 2005. Until his retirement in 2012, he worked on various projects for ESPN, including its unsuccessful bid for the 2014 and 2016 Olympics.

“Mike’s view,” Harvey Schiller, the former president of Turner Sports said, “was to keep doing something unique in the way that fans looked at a sports event.”



READ NEWS SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here