Don Ohlmeyer, Longtime Network TV Executive, Dies at 72
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Don Ohlmeyer, the "Monday Night Football" producer who came up with the phrase "Must See TV" in leading NBC to the No. 1 prime-time spot, died Sunday. He was 72.
"It is with heavy hearts we share that Don Ohlmeyer, our beloved husband, father and grandfather, has passed away at age of 72 due to cancer," Ohlmeyer's family said in a statement. "Surrounded by loved ones, he died peacefully at his home in Indian Wells."
Longtime friend Al Michaels announced Ohlmeyer's death while broadcasting NBC's "Sunday Night Football" game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants.
Ohlmeyer won 16 Emmys, including the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ohlmeyer began his broadcasting career at ABC Sports under Roone Arledge, working on "Wide World of Sports." Along with "Monday Night Football" work, he directed the network's Olympic coverage and created "The Superstars." Later at NBC Sports, he produced World Series and Super Bowl broadcasts.
After running his own Ohlmeyer Communications Company, he returned to NBC in 1993 as president of its entertainment division. He came up with "Must See TV" in the 1990s, when NBC's rating soared with such hits as "Seinfeld," ''Friends," ''ER" and "Frasier."
Ohlmeyer first worked for ABC Sports as a gofer while studying at Notre Dame and became a full-time production assistant in 1967.