Friends, colleagues remember Chuck Gerber

Former ESPN executive and long-time influential sports media consultant Chuck Gerber passed away Friday night.

He worked at ESPN for 15 years, most recently in 2008 as Executive Vice President, Collegiate Sports, a position he held since 2005. He originally came to the company in 1993 when ESPN acquired OCC, where Gerber was working as a senior executive.

Among the events Gerber was instrumental in organizing were the Skins Game, Senior Skins Game, LPGA Skins and the College Football Awards Show. In 1997, OCC and Creative Sports were combined to form ESPN Regional Television (ERT), with Gerber overseeing the new ESPN subsidiary, eventually as Executive Vice President.

Upon departing ESPN in 2008, Gerber became a sports media consultant and worked closely with the SEC. In that role, he was critical in the launch of the successful SEC Network.

The 1965 Adelphi University graduate acquired, developed and produced programming for syndicated and pay television for both Casablanca IV and G2 Entertainment production companies (1987-91). He worked at MCA-TV Enterprises (1980-87), where he served as senior vice president, responsible for development, production and acquisition of all first-run programming.

Prior to that, Gerber worked at NBC (1968-80), where he spent the last two years as vice president, Program Development for NBC’s owned stations. He also served as station manager of KNBC, Los Angeles and WKYC-TV, Cleveland. He began his career in 1966 as a media research analyst at WABC-TV in New York.

Burke Magnus, ESPN Executive Vice President, Programming and Scheduling and a close friend of Gerber’s, said this late Saturday night: “Chuck Gerber was a gifted producer and executive who cared deeply about the people he worked with. He was one of the most vibrant personalities in the sports media business and a true visionary at ESPN for many years. His impact on college sports in particular continues to serve fans today, and will for decades to come. Our thoughts are with his wife, Daryl, and the entire Gerber family.”

Across social media, many other ESPN colleagues and members of the sports landscape shared their reflections about Gerber’s distinctive personality and incredible impact.

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