"What I wanted to do was control and harness the videotape."
About This Interview
In this three-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Tony Verna (1933-2015) talks about breaking into the business in local television at WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, where he worked on local show Big Top and the original version of American Bandstand, then titled Bandstand. He recalls his groundbreaking invention - instant replay for sporting events - created in the wake of the Kennedy Assassination for the 1963 Army/Navy football game. He outlines his continued work as a director in network television for CBS television sports, directing football, baseball, and horse-racing events for TV. Verna talks about several global television events with which he was involved: Live Aid, Sport Aid, and Global Prayer for World Peace, in which he worked with and directed Pope John Paul II. He talks about working on the 1960 & 1984 Olympics and the 1990 Goodwill Games. He also recalls working with legendary sports announcers, including Pat Summerall, Jack Whitaker, Dizzy Dean, and Vin Scully. Finally, he envisions the future of television technology, and speaks of shifting audiences and modes of delivery for programming. Karen Herman conducted the interview on June 17, 2004 in Century City, CA.