CBS SPORTS FAMILY MOURNS LOSS OF CREATIVE DIRECTOR DOUG TOWEY
Longtime Network Television Executive Responsible for “One Shining Moment” Becoming Iconic Anthem of College Basketball
Longtime network television executive for CBS Sports, Doug Towey, passed away Wednesday morning after a long illness.
Towey, 61, a Long Island native, joined CBS Sports in 1981 as Director, On-Air Promotion, and had served as the Creative Director for CBS Sports, responsible for its promotional campaigns, and on-air “look”; graphics, animation, music and scenic design.
“Words can never express what a kind and warm gentleman Doug was,” said Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports. “His remarkable professional talents aside, there was never a better friend. He left us with a legacy of great memories and many, many shining moments that will live forever. He will be dearly missed by all of his family at CBS.”
“CBS has lost a brilliant colleague and someone who was a large part of our creative soul for almost 30 years,” said George Schweitzer, President, CBS Marketing Group. “We salute his accomplishments, we mourn his passing, and we celebrate his wonderful life. There will always be a piece of Doug’s heart in us all.”
Among the many highlights of Towey’s Emmy Award-winning career in television was his direct role in making the song “One Shining Moment” the iconic hallmark anthem of college basketball and CBS Sports’ coverage of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship each March. Folk singer David Barrett penned the song in 1986 and gave it to his high school friend CBS News Chief Investigative Correspondent, and then Sports Illustrated staff writer, Armen Keteyian. Keteyian passed it along to Towey who planned to use it to accompany the Network’s closing highlights of Super Bowl XXI in January 1987. But due to long-running interviews the song never made it to air. A couple of months later, Towey was looking for a way to bring CBS Sports’ NCAA Tournament coverage to a close and decided to use it. “One Shining Moment” made its Final Four debut on March 30, 1987, following Keith Smart’s baseline jumper in the final seconds that gave Indiana a 74-73 victory over Syracuse.
Throughout his over 34-year network television career Towey played a role in the broadcast of virtually every major sporting event in the world including several Olympic Games, Super Bowls, World Series, NBA Finals, NCAA Championships and Final Fours, the Masters®, PGA Championships, U.S. Open Tennis Championships, as well as many other events.
Prior to joining CBS Sports, Towey worked as an Associate Director for ABC Sports from 1975 to 1978. He began working for ABC Sports as part of the first network sports on-air promotion unit in 1978. Towey won an Emmy Award for ABC’s coverage of the 1980 Winter Olympics, as well as multiple Emmy Awards at CBS Sports for promotion, music and graphics. He also won numerous Mobius, Promax and Monitor and Broadcast Design Association awards.
One of CBS Sports’ more memorable and well-known NFL ON CBS promotional campaigns that Towey was responsible for was the “I’m a Big Fan” campaign.
A 1972 communications arts graduate of New York Institute of Technology, Towey began his career at WLIW-TV and WHLI Radio on Long Island, N.Y., as a news reporter. He was born May 30, 1947, in Hempstead, N.Y. and lived in Lloyd Neck, N.Y., with his wife Helen.
He is survived by his wife, three siblings: brother, Denis (Brother Augustine Towey), and sisters Anne Towey and Brenda Romanski, as well as several nieces and nephews.
Calling hours and funeral arrangements are Thursday, March 12 (2:00-5:00 PM and 7:00-9:00 PM) and Friday, March 13 (2:00-5:00 PM and 7:00-9:00 PM) at the M.A. Connell Funeral Home in Huntington Station, Long Island. A funeral mass will be held at St. Thomas More Church, St. John’s University on Saturday, March 14 at 9:30 AM.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to “The Douglas Towey Memorial Fund,” Niagara University, N.Y. 14109.