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Fred Hickman, the anchor of ESPN’s “SportsCenter”

Fred Hickman, the anchor of ESPN’s “SportsCenter”

Fred Hickman, former sports anchor for CNN, ESPN and YES, dies at 66

Frederick F. Hickman — known to generations of TV viewers as the announcer and co-host of the iconic “SportsCenter” — also provided voices for animated characters on “Scooby-Doo.” (AP)

A. Scott Berg, The Baltimore Sun

Frederick F. Hickman, former sports anchor for CNN, ESPN and YES, dies at 66

Fred Hickman, who for 40 years anchored the sports talk show “SportsCenter,” is dead, according to ESPN spokesman Brian Schmit.

Hickman, 66, died Tuesday morning at a hospital in Manhattan.

Hickman’s career in the broadcast business began in 1962, when he was hired at WCBS in New York to host its new daytime talk show, hosted by Arthur Godfrey.

The first edition of Godfrey’s show did not air for the next nine months, as Hickman anchored a second edition of the show, in which Godfrey introduced “The Morning Sports with Fred Hickman Show” with newscaster Robert Wilke. He then hosted a long-running game show called “The Match Game” with Fred Allen.

In 1969, Hickman left WCBS to join the fledgling ESPN, as the anchor of the weekend news program “SportsCenter.” He also was in charge of the network’s flagship radio program, which aired every Saturday night from the network’s new New York studio.

Hickman was on the air longer than any other ESPN anchor. He also was one of the most prolific and well-known TV commentators during an era in which TV personalities were becoming increasingly reliant on text messaging, on-screen graphics, Internet video and Twitter.

“SportsCenter” won 11 Emmys and an Emmy for outstanding sports documentary in 1982. Hickman was honored by the New York Sports Writers Association and Sportswriters Association of America. He was also inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

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