Fred Hickman working as a sports anchor for CNN.

Before SportsCenter dominated the sports news and highlights coverage on television, many fans went to CNN to get such coverage on Sports Tonight. CNN Sports anchors Fred Hickman and Nick Charles became a fixture of a whole lot of televisions across America in the early 80s. Some of us even had the CNN Sports: Play of the Day VHS, long before we could go to YouTube for a collection of amazing sports highlights.

In a massive loss for the sports media world, news emerged on Wednesday night that Hickman has passed away at the age of 66.

Along with being an anchor for CNN and Turner networks — such as TBS — across three decades, Hickman worked at ESPN (from 2004-08) as an anchor on SportsCenter and sport-specific programs such as NBA Coast to Coast and Baseball Tonight. He also had stints at YES Network, Fox Sports South, and various local networks. At the time of his death, Hickman was an anchor and managing editor at Black News Channel.

In 2004, Hickman received a New York Sports Emmy Award.

Hickman was one of the pioneers in the sports media world, and tributes from fans and former colleagues are pouring in on Twitter (with some fans noting that Charles passed away in 2011).

RIP Fred Hickman.


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