Broadcasting veteran Ted Bergmann, who produced the first NFL and Grammy telecasts and was present to record the German surrender to the Allies for radio in 1945, has died. He was 93. Bergmann died March 2 following surgery at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. During the course of his 70-year broadcast career, Bergmann produced such shows as Three’s Company and its two spinoffs; The Arthur Godfrey Show; and Love Thy Neighbor, a 1973 ABC series about a black couple in a white neighborhood that was so controversial that Sears and Proctor & Gamble pulled their advertising. 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. On May 6, 1945, the 24-year-old Bergmann took a recording crew to a schoolhouse Reims, France, to preserve the German surrender to the Allies for radio. He was the last surviving witness to the event. Returning to the U.S., Bergmann rejoined NBC. Within five years he became a top executive with 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. During the 1950s, Bergmann segued to TV advertising, working with such firms as McCann-Erickson and Parkson Advertisting Agency. After starting his own program packaging company, Charter Producers Corporation, Bergmann was approached by the the National Academy of Recording Artists in 1962 and asked to find a way to get the then-3-year-old Grammy Awards on TV. 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. Bergmann continued to produce the Grammys on NBC annually for seven years. He retired from entertainment in 1998 but continued to serve on the boards of several industry organizations, including the Chair’s Counsel of the Caucus for Television Producers, Writers & Directors. He also represented television before congressional committees and the FCC.
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