From 8 to 10 p.m. this Friday evening, January 18, the National Broadcasting Company will present on its nationwide radio network the first in a new series of programs—SPORTS ILLUSTRATED-MONITOR. Drawing from material in current issues of this magazine, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED-MONITOR will be heard, following its premi√®re, at the same time on every fourth Friday.
For NBC the program inaugurates a weekly enlargement of the entire Monitor weekend service, which approximately 200 radio stations have carried during the hours between 8 a.m. Saturday and midnight Sunday for more than a year and a half. For readers of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and listeners to NBC the program adds the dimension of sound to the story of sport as told in these pages.
From the first the idea for the program seemed a happy marriage, combining as it does the worldwide reportorial facilities of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED with the worldwide radio facilities of NBC. The program format, like that of Monitor itself, will be flexible, always allowing microphones to move to places or people involved in unexpected or fast-breaking news of sport.
Among the many features already scheduled for the first two-hour broadcast is a group of interviews by Jimmy Jemail, who demonstrates how he gets answers to the questions he asks in HOTBOX. Sidelights to stories in this week's issue will be contributed by a conversation with Dr. Clarence Cottam, director of the Rob and Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation, which is the setting for John O'Reilly's inquiry into the conservation problem in Texas, and by a commentary from Gerald Holland on his experiences as he accompanied Ron Delany on the Olympic hero's triumphant return to Ireland. There will also be a visit with two North Carolina State College students as they seek in their own special way for some pirate gold where Blackbeard may have left it, a spot reported in last week's article on treasure hunting.
While an innovation in sports broadcasting, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED MONITOR will, however, strike one familiar and perhaps nostalgic chord for many listeners. It will have, as co-narrator with Monitor sportscaster Don Russell, Westbrook Van Voorhis, whose vivid and much-imitated voice ("TIME...marches on!") will lend an added note of drama to this newest venture in reporting sport's dramatic story.