Roone Arledge, Chairman of ABC News, is the 2001 winner of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Pete Rozelle Radio and Television Award. The award, given annually by the Hall of Fame, recognizes "long-time exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football." Arledge will be presented his award on August 3, in Canton, Ohio at the Mayor's Breakfast, the first formal event of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Enshrinement Weekend celebration.
Arledge, widely regarded as one of the most innovative people ever to work in the television broadcast medium, was President of ABC Sports from 1968 until 1986. He served as President of ABC News from 1977 until his promotion to Chairman in 1997.
During his tenure as head of ABC Sports, Arledge introduced virtually all state-of-the-art technologies to sports programming, including slow motion, advanced graphics, and the introduction of journalistic values and personalization of athletes to sports broadcasting.
A 36-time Emmy Award-winner, Arledge has been a dominant force in improving the substance and direction of sports programming. Under his innovative leadership, ABC's NFL "Monday Night Football," a program that forever changed the viewing habits of a nation, became television's longest-running and most successful primetime sports series.
Also under Arledge's guidance ABC's Wide World of Sports grew to become television's most popular, most honored and longest running sports anthology series in television history.
ABC Sports was synonymous with the Olympics under Arledge, who personally produced ten ABC Olympic broadcasts. He is the first television executive and one of the very few Americans to receive the Medal of the Olympic Order from the International Olympic Committee. In 1989, he was inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame.
Arledge has been recognized for his enormous contributions to the broadcasting medium with nearly every major award in television. In 1990 he was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame and is the recipient of the Gold Medal Award from the International Radio and Television Society, as well as four George Foster Peabody Awards - the broadcasting industry's highest honor. Arledge won his most recent Peabody Award, a personal award, for bringing ABC to the forefront in news coverage; for his personal commitment to high ethical standards; for his leadership within ABC and the television industry; and for his outstanding contributions to the Olympic Games.
Previous Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award winners include Bill McPhail, 1989; Lindsey Nelson, 1990; Ed Sabol, 1991; Chris Schenkel, 1992; Curt Gowdy, 1993; Pat Summerall, 1994; Frank Gifford, 1995; Jack Buck, 1996; Charlie Jones, 1997; Val Pinchbeck, 1998; Dick Enberg, 1999, and Ray Scott, 2000.