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Pioneering TV Producer Dies After 70-Year Career Deadline

The producer of the first NFL and Grammy Awards telecasts -- who also recorded the German surrender in 1945 for radio -- has died. Deadline.com reports that Ted Bergmann died March 2 following surgery at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. He was 93.

The report notes that Bergmann recorded the surrender of Germany to the Allies for radio in 1945 during World War II. In his 70-year-career, he also produced shows including “Three’s Company” and “Love Thy Neighbor,” a 1973 program about a black family in a white neighborhood that caused advertisers to pull their support, the story notes.

“A Brooklyn native, Bergmann started his TV career as an NBC page. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Army, soon earning the rank of captain and covering stories in the European theater for the NBC radio program ‘Army Hour,’” the piece reports.

On May 6, 1945, he took a recording crew to Reims, France, to record the German surrender in World War II. Bergmann was the last surviving witness of the event, the article adds.

The report notes: “Returning to the U.S., Bergmann rejoined NBC. Within five years he became president of the DuMont Network, where he was the first to broadcast NFL games and live boxing and launched such notable TV personalities as Jackie Gleason and Bishop Fulton Sheen.”

In 1962, he was approached by the National Academy of Recording Artists to find a way to broadcast the Grammy Awards, which were then only three years old.

“He created and produced ‘The Best On Record,’ a post-awards re-creation of the winning performances and a way of gaining awareness for the industry event. The 1963 program included such icons as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Steve and Eydie, and Peter, Paul and Mary,” the article reports.

Bergmann retired in 1998 but served on the boards of industry groups including the Caucus for Television Producers, Writers & Directors.

ted bergmann.pngTed Bergmann