Author talks TV business in new book

Keith Hirshland

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)  — The former Director of News at News Channel 8, Keith Hirshland was here in the late 1980’s and after he left he went on to be on the ground floor of ESPN 2, and was among the first to be hired in 1994 at the newly-formed Golf Channel where he produced tournaments around the world.

He’s just published a book called, “Cover Me Boys, I’m Going In.” In it he writes about TV and behind the scenes tales at the Golf Channel, which eventually was taken over by Comcast. What he wrote, along with the fact that his wife figured into NBC losing the USGA tournaments, got him fired.

“So I’ve written a book, the book has gone through all of it’s rewrites, all the people that I trusted most to read it, while I was writing it, told me everything that was wrong with it, told me all the times that I was bitter and angry and had to rewrite, and you can’t say this and you can’t include emails from this president of Comcast in a book when you’re basically saying they made a bonehead move,” said Hirshland.

“I left the emails out, but I told the story about them being boneheads, so Sarah negotiates a deal with the USGA because their broadcast rights were coming up. So, they had been with NBC for 20 years. NBC has aired all of the USGA Championships for 20 years and negotiations were going on to see who would take over, because those rights were going to end in 2014. So the folks at NBC figured it was a lay up that the USGA would never change broadcasters. They love us and we do a great job for them, they’re going to to do anything and so there was a 60 day exclusive negotiating window with NBC, which didn’t come to play and didn’t make a substantial offer. And, the day that the 60 day negotiating window ended, Fox who has long wanted to get into Golf, called up the USGA and said we’re interested. So, the USGA said okay and Sarah did the deal.

Hirshland says he’s working on another book, but it will have nothing to do with golf.

To purchase Hirshland’s book, click here.

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