Tuesday, December 29, 2020

R.I.P.: Jack Rosenberg, Revered Chicago Sports Broadcaster

Jack Rosenberg
TV sports pioneer Jack Rosenberg died Sunday at Chicago’s Swedish Hospital. He was 94, reports The Chicago Tribune..

For more than 40 years was an unseen hand in WGN’s sports broadcasts.  Rosenberg played a role in shaping many of today’s coverage conventions and in building WGN’s national reputation through Cubs, White Sox, Bulls, Blackhawks, Bears and local college broadcasts.

“Rosey” — as he was known to co-workers, friends and, through on-air mentions, WGN’s audience — constantly passed to announcers such as Brickhouse, Harry Caray, Lloyd Pettit and Vince Lloyd quickly typed notecards with stats, stories, facts and trivia during games.

“The sound of his typewriter softly clicking behind Jack Brickhouse was the soundtrack of summer for generations of Cubs fans,” tweeted Bob Vorwald, WGN-9′s director of production and the author of “Cubs Forever: Memories from the Men Who Lived Them.”

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Chicago/Midwest chapter inducted Rosenberg into its Silver Circle in 2011. WGN-AM added him to its Walk of Fame six years later.

Current Bulls radio announcer Chuck Swirsky, a former WGN-AM 720 sports director who knew Rosenberg for more than 40 years, called him “a great man” and a friend and mentor with a warm personality, exceptional people skills and tremendous wisdom.

“People often refer to Jack as the man with the typewriter in the Cubs booth, but he was so much more than that,” Swirsky said.

“Early in my career, I was struggling learning how to become a leader. I was failing miserably, and it was Jack who nurtured the process with encouragement and direction. I owe him a debt of gratitude. … He was a gentle man who was always a gentleman.”

Rosenberg, a World War II Navy veteran, began at WGN in 1954.

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