Robert Quinlan Costas (born March 22, 1952) is an award-winning American sportscaster, who is employed by MLB Network, where he does play-by-play and hosts an interview show called Studio 42 with Bob Costas. He is known for his long tenure with NBC Sports from 1980 through 2018, and for many Emmy awards. He was the prime-time host of 11 Olympic Games from 1992 until 2016.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Costas was born in Queens, New York City, and grew up in Commack, New York. He is the son of Jayne (Quinlan), of Irish descent, and John George Costas, an electrical engineer of Greek descent. His father's ancestry can be traced back to the island of Kalymnos in the Aegean Sea in Greece. As Costas stated on Ken Burns' Baseball, he had a very poor relationship with his father. Costas graduated from Commack High School South and attended Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. He graduated with a communications degree in 1974 from their S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Broadcasting career[edit | edit source]
Early career[edit | edit source]
In 1973, Costas began his professional career at WSYR TV and radio in Syracuse, while still completing his communications degree at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. His sportscasting career began while attending Syracuse University, serving as an announcer for the Syracuse Blazers minor-league hockey team playing in the Eastern Hockey League and North American Hockey League.
After graduating in 1974 at the age of 22, Costas went to KMOX radio in St. Louis, Missouri, calling play-by-play for the Spirits of St. Louis of the American Basketball Association in 1974. He was a prominent contributor to the ABA book Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association. He is extensively quoted on many topics. The book includes his reflections of ABA life during his tenure as radio voice of the Spirits of St. Louis.
Later, Costas would call Missouri Tigers basketball and co-host KMOX's Open Line call-in program. He did play-by-play for Chicago Bulls broadcasts on WGN-TV during the 1979–1980 NBA season. He was also employed by CBS Sports as a regional CBS NFL and CBS NBA announcer from 1976 to 1979, after which he moved to NBC.
NBC Sports[edit | edit source]
In 1980, Costas was hired by NBC. Don Ohlmeyer, who at the time ran the network's sports division, told the then 28-year-old Costas that he looked like a 14-year-old. Costas would recite this anecdote during an appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Ohlmeyer based his reaction on Costas' modest stature (Costas is 5 ft 7 in (0 m)) and boyish, baby-faced appearance.
For many years, Costas hosted NBC's National Football League coverage and NBA coverage. He also did play-by-play for National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball coverage. With the introduction of the NBC Sports Network, Costas also became the host of the new monthly interview program Costas Tonight.
National Hockey League[edit | edit source]
Costas hosted NBC's coverage of the 2008, 2009, and the 2010 NHL Winter Classic. He was scheduled to host coverage of the 2011 event as well but, due to the game's postponement, Costas only hosted pre-game coverage before leaving to go to Seattle for his duties with NBC's NFL coverage the next night. He hosted the event in 2012 as well as a post-game edition of NHL Live on the NBC Sports Network.
Olympics (1988–2016)[edit | edit source]
Costas has frontlined many Olympics broadcasts for NBC. They include the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary and 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Barcelona in 1992, Atlanta in 1996, Sydney in 2000, Salt Lake City in 2002, Athens in 2004, Torino in 2006, Beijing in 2008, Vancouver in 2010, London in 2012, Sochi in 2014 and Rio in 2016. He discusses his work on the Olympic telecasts extensively in a book by Andrew Billings entitled Olympic Media: Inside the Biggest Show on Television. A personal influence on Costas has been legendary ABC Sports broadcaster Jim McKay, who hosted many Olympics for ABC from the 1960s to the 1980s.
References[edit | edit source]
- Marchand, Andrew. "Bob Costas and NBC are quietly and officially broken up", January 15, 2019.
- Database (undated). "WGN Channel 9 - Chicago Bulls Basketball With Bob Costas (Promo, 1979)". The Museum of Classic Chicago Television. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
- Database (undated). "WGN Channel 9 - Chicago Bulls Vs. Seattle SuperSonics (Opening, 1979)". The Museum of Classic Chicago Television. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
- Sands, Rich. "Channel Changing: Versus Becomes NBC Sports Network". Retrieved on 2012-01-01.
- NHL.com – 2008 NHL Winter Classic
- Guinto, Joseph (August 1, 2008). Golden Boy. American Way. Archived from the original on August 13, 2012. Retrieved on July 31, 2012.
- (June 7, 2008). "Legendary Broadcaster McKay Dies - TV Sports Journalist Known for Hosting 'Wide World of Sports' and Olympics". NBC Sports. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
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