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Two Reported Dead; One Ebersol Son Missing

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NEW YORK ( -- Details on the condition of Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports and NBC Olympics, are still unavailable more than 24 hours after a charter plane carrying six people, including
Photo: AP
NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol was seriously injured.
the media executive and two of his sons, crashed at 10:15 a.m. Sunday in Montrose, Colo.

Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, this morning confirmed news reports of yesterday's crash.

Under investigation
Mr. Kenitzer said the plane crashed either as it was taking off or just after takeoff from Montrose Regional Airport. The cause of the crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, Mr. Kenitzer said.

Two people died on the scene, Mr. Kenitzer said; three were transported to area hospitals, and one person is missing.

Helped from wreckage
According to eyewitness accounts, reported by the Associated Press, Mr. Ebersol's son, Charles, helped the 57-year-old network executive from the front of the plane. That report said the force of the crash ripped the cockpit from the body of the plane. Mr. Kenitzer confirmed that a fire followed the crash.

A spokeswoman for NBC Universal Sports in New York had no comment on Mr. Ebersol's condition or facts around the event this morning. A spokeswoman for the Montrose Regional Airport would not comment on the crash, either.

Among the crash survivors are Mr. Ebersol and Charles Ebersol, according to press reports. The missing individual is believed to be Mr. Ebersol's 14-year-old son, Edward. Mr. Kenitzer would not comment on the missing person's identity.

NBC Sports
Mr. Ebersol, whose broadcasting career began in 1967 with a job as a researcher at ABC Sports, found success after joining NBC in 1974. He won acclaim for finding and nurturing the talent behind Saturday Night Live and eventually became the youngest vice president in the network's history, according to a published biography. He took a brief hiatus from NBC in the mid-1980s, but returned in April 1989 as president of NBC Sports. He orchestrated NBC's 1995 purchase of U.S. TV rights to five Olympic Games, and was involved in NBC's $2 billion bid last year to win rights to the 2010 and 2012 Olympics, beating out rivals Fox and ABC/ESPN.

NBC is widely believed to be participating in ongoing talks for the National Football League's prime-time TV packages, which include Sunday night games on ESPN and Monday Night Football, now in its 35th year on ABC. It is believed the League is also looking at a possible Thursday and Saturday night package.

TV consultant Neal Pilson, former CBS Sports president and Mr. Ebersol's longtime friend and competitor, said, "Knowing Dick's resilience and intense interest in ... NBC Sports, my guess is that he'll be involved [in negotiations] if he at all can be. He has tremendous energy."

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