Sports Illustrated columnist Joe Posnanski had a meeting scheduled Thursday with NBC Sports & Olympics chairman Dick Ebersol to discuss the network’s golf coverage.
We had started the conversation earlier than scheduled because, he said, a meeting with the boss had come up. He seemed perfectly at ease. We sat on a couch beneath a large arrow in a frame – I did remind myself to ask him at some point if it was the arrow that had lit the torch that started the Barcelona Olympics. There was one giant television on the wall, bordered by three smaller ones. The photos all around the office were of family members and celebrities and in some cases both (Ebersol is married to actress Susan Saint James). There was a large stuffed dog standing by the desk. My wife would ask if the office resembled Alec Baldwin’s in 30 Rock. I said it had more Emmy Awards.
A few minutes before 10 a.m., Ebersol apologized and said he needed to go meet with his boss. He invited me to stay in his office and “go through my files.” I chose to wait in the office of NBC Sports senior director of communications Adam Freifeld. Ebersol said, “I hope this will only take about 20 minutes.”
Not too long after that, NBC Sports’ VP of communications Chris McCloskey walked into Adam’s office and told me that Ebersol’s meeting would take just a little bit longer, that “something had come up,” and that maybe I should come back to finish the interview a little later in the day.
It wasn’t until after I had gotten to the Sports Illustrated offices a block away that I heard that Dick Ebersol had resigned.
Posnanski returned later in the afternoon to finish his conversation with Ebersol and to discuss his decision to leave NBC Sports.
Talk about great timing.