Gus Hergert, Anchor of "The Big Show" on WTKI

 
Gus Hergert has been involved in sports television for nearly two decades.  It has been a labor of love and enjoyment for the 40-year old sports veteran.

He began in Florence during his college days at the University of North Alabama and had become Sports Director of the local NBC affiliate before graduation.  There he met two lifelong friends.  UNA Coach Wayne Grubb and future broadcast partner of nine years, Alabama A&M Coach Ray Greene.  Learning the trade as a one-man department helped prepare Hergert for his next opportunity.

From Florence, Hergert found his way to WDBB in Birmingham/Tuscaloosa where he began a very enjoyable run as Sports Director and the Executive Producer and Host of the Ray Perkins Show (University of Alabama Football) and the Wimp Sanderson Show (University of Alabama Basketball).  Hergert was also the play-by-play announcer for dozens of regional TV football, basketball and baseball games.  Hergert also produced several of the original highlight films for Alabama and developed a niche for sports productions.  Hergert also got a big break as one of the announcers on the national telecast of the 1985 Aloha Bowl from Honolulu.

The Big Apple called and Hergert spent a year and a half at SportsChannel-New York as News Director.  He also was one of the primary anchors of SportsNightly, a regional half-hour highlight show which aired during the week following ballgames.  SportsChannel aired the Yankees, Mets, Islanders, Devils and Nets as primary teams …. With Hergert serving as one of the pregame and postgame hosts.  Other notable events in New York included specials from Florida on Major League Baseball spring training, spending a week with Mike Tyson and Michael Spinks as they prepared for the now infamous 93-second fight in Atlantic City.  Hergert also attended many feature events like the Baseball Hall of Fame Induction’s, the Heisman Trophy Presentation (of which he is a voting member) and the Belmont Stakes.

Gus returned to Alabama to his adopted hometown of Huntsville in 1987 to begin a 10-year job as Sports Director for WAAY-TV.  During his tenure with WAAY, the television station earned its first EMMY nomination (Hergert’s second), and oversaw the production of hundreds of hours of sports programming including three NCAA National Championships, dozens of televised football and hockey telecasts … plus every show imaginable from cities like New Orleans, Atlanta, Orlando, Daytona, Scooba Mississippi, Cleveland Mississippi, Bemidji Minnesota, Louisville Kentucky, Springfield Massachusetts, as well as Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Auburn Alabama.   In one stretch, WAAY Sports Productions (known as The Sports Station) won four straight Associated Press Awards for Best Sports Programming in Alabama, plus another dozen major awards.  From the Huntsville Press Club, Hergert and WAAY Sports won 17 awards including two straight years of capturing the entire sport categories (plus two each from the news categories).  Hergert has been honored with over three dozen broadcasting awards in his career.

Hergert also freelanced while in Huntsville.  SportsChannel-Florida and SportsChannel-America called upon Hergert and FOTM Productions (his production company) to produce and host Southeastern Conference Weekly.  The program ran 100 episodes.  Along with dozens of other projects, Hergert and members of the sports productions team captured awards throughout the Southeast for sports excellence.  Hergert was the voice of the Huntsville Lasers professional basketball team, Alabama A&M football and basketball teams, Alabama-Huntsville basketball and hockey teams, the Birmingham Fire professional football team, as well as other TV and Radio duties along the way.

In early September, Hergert was fortunate enough to be involved as the play-by-play announcer for the first-ever High Definition Broadcast of football, which was telecast through America from the facilities of WRAL in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The digital telecast of the NC State-Duke game is being used as a prototype for future High Definition Telecasts of sporting events.

Hergert is now pursuing a career in management, which could lead him back to the newsroom or out of television completely.  He is currently doing freelance work for several stations in the region including consulting for WAAY and radio on WTKI in Huntsville as host of the Friday Night Football scoreboard show, where he is reunited with longtime broadcast partner and producer Matt Neal and fellow television anchor Cliff Hill.

Email hergert@waaytv.com