70 Years: Covering sports in Central Illinois

Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 11:07 AM CST
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Since 1953, covering sports has always been at the heart of WEEK’s local news.

The station’s first sports anchor was “Chick” Hearn, who was so popular his next job move was to Los Angeles, where he was the radio voice of the LA Lakers for many years. He was succeeded by Hank Fisher, who was also the radio voice of Bradley Basketball, covering NIT and NCAA championships.

Gordon Joyner delivered the noon news and the evening sports into the early 70′s with his famous sports team bobbleheads. Frank Bussone put together just one sportscast a week but his subtle blend of scores and “tag lines” made WEEK’s Sunday night news the top-rated local newscast of all the NBC affiliates.

Frank’s weekday colleague was Norm Ulrich. Norm and Frank teamed up to broadcast college basketball – first for Illinois State and then the Bradley Braves.

That rich tradition of local sports coverage continues today with our very own weekly high school sports show “Prep Rally”.