November 19, 2019 – The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Boston/New England Chapter Tuesday evening inducted NESN President & CEO Sean McGrail as part of its 2019 inductees for the prestigious Gold & Silver Circle Awards.
Established in 1993, the Silver Circle Award honors television professionals for 25 or more years of service to the television industry. The Gold Circle Award honors television professionals for fifty years or more of service.
“It’s an honor to be inducted into the NATAS Silver Circle,” said McGrail. “It’s been a privilege to work at NESN all these years, and to lead the network under the extraordinary ownership of Delaware North and Fenway Sports Group. I’d like to express appreciation for the hard work and dedication from all of NESN’s current and former employees, with whom I celebrate this award. I also want to thank my wife Judy for being my best friend and partner every step of the way, as well as an incredible and loving mother to our two sons.”
In the ceremony held Tuesday at the Seaport Boston Hotel’s Lighthouse Ballroom, McGrail was honored for his lasting contributions to the industry. Fellow Silver Circle inductees included Edward Fowler, retired Maine Public Broadcasting (Bangor); Barbara Morse Silva, Health Reporter/Anchor (WJAR-NBC10 Providence); Paul Pfeffer, Director of Education, Connecticut Public Television (Hartford); WCVB-ABC5’s Chris Stirling, Executive Producer and Susan Sloane, former Managing Editor of Chronicle. The Gold Circle inductee was Chas Norton, WGBH-PBS’s Lighting Director of the Antiques Road Show.
McGrail has served as President and CEO of NESN since May of 2000. Under McGrail’s leadership NESN has been transformed into one of the most successful media properties in New England, he has transitioned it from a premium service to a basic cable service in addition to the creating of NESNplus a second full time network. NESN is also distributed outside New England as NESN National to millions of homes via cable distributors, satellite providers, and over-the-top (OTT) services.
The network has won nearly 50 Emmy Awards under McGrail’s stewardship and consistently achieved some of the highest ratings in MLB and the NHL. Additionally, Forbes has ranked NESN as one of the Top 10 Most Valuable Sports Business Brands in the world.
McGrail engineered NESN’s relocation to the NESN Television Center in Watertown, Mass., considered one of the leading RSN facilities in the country. The network was the first RSN in the country to originate every game and studio show in high definition, to bring automation into its studio productions, and is currently constructing the first UHD (ultra-high definition) facility in the United States.
He has been involved with local charities including the Jimmy Fund, Bridge Over Troubled Water, The Arthritis Foundation and Children’s Hospital. In addition to his work at NESN, McGrail also serves on the boards of Roush Fenway Racing, the Red Sox Foundation and The Boston Bruins Foundation.
McGrail has been honored with numerous awards, winning several Emmys, as well as being inducted into the Cable TV Pioneers and receiving the WICT career achievement award.
A Worcester, Mass., native, McGrail graduated from Northeastern University and earned an MBA from Boston University. He began his career at Continental Cablevision before joining NESN’s marketing department in 1985.
McGrail resides in Hopkinton with his wife Judy and two sons.
The Boston/New England Chapter has honored over one hundred and forty industry professionals who have made significant contributions to television, the Academy, their community and to people training for careers in television. Honoring broadcast excellence and community commitment, these New England television pioneers will join an array of illustrious talents who have set industry standards with a strong commitment to their craft.
About NATAS Boston/New England Chapter
The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television, the fostering of creative leadership in the television industry, and the encouragement of excellence in artistic, educational, cultural and technical progress.
NESN is consistently one of the top-rated regional sports networks in the country with award-winning Red Sox and Bruins coverage. NESN and NESNplus are delivered throughout the six-state New England region and are available anytime, anywhere on any device on the NESN app and at NESN.com. The network is also distributed nationally as NESN National. For the past six years, Forbes Magazine has ranked NESN as one of the 10 Most Valuable Sports Business Brands in the World. NESN.com is one of the country’s most visited sports websites with a state-of-the-art HD studio dedicated to digital video productions. NESN’s social responsibility program, NESN Connects, is proud to support and connect its employees with charitable organizations in our communities. NESN is owned by Fenway Sports Group (owners of the Boston Red Sox) and Delaware North (owners of the Boston Bruins).
Thumbnail photo via Credit: NESN