In 1946, Jim McKay took a position with The Baltimore Evening Sun newspaper as a police reporter….and was promoted to aviation reporter….then in 1947, Jim McKay gave up his job as a reporter for The Evening Sun to join that same organization’s new TV station WMAR-TV….as his was the first voice ever heard on television in Baltimore…..as McKay remained with the station until joining CBS in New York in 1950 as host of a variety show, called The Real McKay….which necessitated the changing of his on-air surname…..and from 1958 to 1960, McKay served as host and commentator on the CBS television daytime program The Verdict Is Yours. Through the 1950’s, sports commentary became more and more his primary assignment for CBS….when in the 1956-57 NFL season….McKay teamed with fellow future sportscasting legend,Chris Schenkel, to call CBS telecasts of New York Giants football. He was originally tabbed to be the lead broadcaster of the network’s coverage of the 1960 Winter Olympics….but had to be replaced by Walter Cronkite after suffering a mental breakdown. McKay recovered in time to host the 1960 Summer Olympics from the CBS Television studio in Grand Central Terminal….plus, he had a six-episode stint as host of the game show Make the Connection on NBC in 1955.
He moved on to ABC in 1961, and was the host of ABC’s influential Wide World of Sports for 37 years…. which has always been the gold standard for sports anthology type programs….for Wide World of Sports provided the platform for Jim McKay to develop his incomparable style of “elegance and eloquence” in his delivery while covering the many different sports and cultures as he traveled the globe. Jim McKay could make the sport of stone tossing sound romantic with his delivery…..and that is why we cherish each piece of footage with him behind the mike that we have here at ImaSportsphile…..cuz with his love of sport….he was truly a Sportsphile before we invented the word.