The Sportswriters on TV

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The Sports Writers on TV was a sports talk show produced by John E. Roach for the Chicago-based SportsChannel and syndicated to most of the other ones across the SportsChannel America network. Bill Jauss, Bill Gleason, Ben Bentley, Joe Mooshill, Lester Munson and Rick Telander were the usual writers discussing the sports issues of the day, and the show was a forerunner of sportswriter TV shows that are much more common now (The Sports Reporters, Pardon the Interruption, Around the Horn, etc.). The weekly program also featured occasional conversations with Bill Veeck and Billy Corgan.

The show was a video adaptation of The Sportswriters, a long-running radio program on Chicago's WGN. The first airing of Sportswriters on TV was on WFLD in 1985. The set remained the same over the next 15 years of existence. The panel of three sportswriters (usually Jauss, Gleason and Telander) and moderator Bentley (a former public relations executive with the Bulls and a longtime boxing promoter before that) would sit around a card table, which was littered with newspapers, and talk sports.

Unlike most other shows of this nature, the background was usually dark while the table, and the sportswriters sitting around it, was lit. Gleason and Bentley would constantly smoke cigars, and the sportswriters would wear casual clothes. It was not uncommon to see Jauss wearing a faded pair of blue jeans and a T-shirt with the name of an area bar. Adding to the informal nature of the show, they would often call each other by their surnames (e.g., "Jauss," "Gleason") as guys sitting around a bar might do.

After a year on WFLD, it moved to SportsVision, the precursor to SportsChannel Chicago. When the Fox Sports Network purchased SportsChannel in 1997, the show continued until 2000, when Fox decided not to renew the show.

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