Former ESPN Exec and Sports Media Consultant Chuck Gerber Dead at 71
Former ESPN executive and long-time sports media consultant Chuck Gerber passed away Friday night at the age of 71. Gerber worked at ESPN for 15 years, including serving as Executive Vice President, Collegiate Sports from 2005-2008. In 2008, he departed the network to serve as a consultant to the Southeastern Conference and was instrumental in the development of the SEC Network.
Gerber originally joined ESPN in 1993 when the network acquired OCC, where Gerber was working as a senior executive. He was key in organizing events such as 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.
“Chuck Gerber was a gifted producer and executive who cared deeply about the people he worked with,” said Burke Magnus, Executive Vice President, Programming and Scheduling at ESPN and a close friend of Gerber’s. “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.”
Upon departing ESPN in 2008, Gerber became a sports media consultant and worked closely with the SEC and friend Mike Slive, then commissioner of the SEC. In that role, he was critical in the launch of the SEC Network.
“Chuck Gerber was part of the SEC family, a trusted advisor and a friend,” said current SEC commissioner Greg Sankey. “Chuck helped usher in a new era of television for the SEC. His media knowledge and expertise were matched only by his humor and candor. Chuck will be missed greatly by everyone in the SEC and by many in college athletics. Our prayers and sympathies are with his family.”
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.