Sal Giacona is a former, long-time local and award-winning TV sports producer. He first became involved with the local sports scene through a couple of timely internships. First with Mitch Albom and Mike Stone on the “Sunday Sports Albom” weekly radio show, and his second experience at WJR radio on “Sportswrap” with the team of Frank Beckmann, Rick Kincaid, and Paul Chapman. After graduating from Wayne State University in Detroit where he studied English and Journalism, he parlayed another sports internship at WXYZ-TV Channel 7 with former sports director Don Shane into a weekend sports producer job at WKBD-TV Channel 50 with local legendary sports anchor and former Detroit Tigers TV/radio announcer Ray Lane.
Sal headed the sports department production efforts at WKBD-TV during his tenure when he helped launch and producer Detroit’s first nightly, half-hour studio talk show titled “STV Detroit”, Sports Television Detroit in 1996. The nightly-30 minute format was the first of its kind in the market and featured a long list of local sports athletes making in-studio appearances including Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Sergei Fedorov, Joe Dumars, Bobby Higginson, Wayne Fontes and many others. As the flagship station for the Red Wings, Tigers and Pistons, WKBD-TV provided Sal with many opportunities to help produce pregame and postgame studio shows for game broadcasts for all three franchises. This was in addition to producing nightly sportscasts and the Sunday Sports Xtra, a weekly 30-minute wrap up show.
During his time at WKBD-TV, Sal was part of many local sports broadcasting milestones including complete season and playoff coverage of the Detroit Red Wings first Stanley Cup championship in 42 years during the 1997 season. And, he followed that season with the Red Wings back-to-back championship in 1998. During both seasons, he was part of the game coverage and studio specials led by executive producer Toby Cunningham, and working closely with iconic team broadcasters like Dave Strader, Mickey Redmond, and Ken Daniels.
Sal has also worked as a sports producer at WDIV-TV and WXYZ-TV during his local sports media career where he collaborated with former local sportscasters such as Fred McLeod, Fred Heumann and Jay Berry. It was at Channel 7 where he learned the inner workings of the local sports news industry under the guidance of notable producers like Reggie Hall and Rei “Rei J” Janukitis.
Through his years working in local sports, Sal has been part of the sports media and sports production crews broadcasting and covering events like the final game at historic Tiger Stadium in 1999, MLB All-Star Game, World Series, Stanley Cup Finals, NBA Finals, Superbowl, Final Four, and many other regional events.
More recently, Sal has transitioned into a full-time job as a member of Ford Motor Company’s internal public relations team where he creates content as a multimedia journalist, but he remains active in the local sports broadcasting market as a seasoned production freelancer working on live game broadcast productions for NHL, MLB, NFL, NBA, and NCAA events in metro-Detroit and Michigan region. The long list of networks he has worked with include Fox Sports Detroit, NBC Sports Network, Big Ten Network, MLB Network, NBA Entertainment, ESPN and ESPNU, Turner Sports Network, and many of the visiting teams’ regional broadcast outlets.
Finally, a couple of little-known items in Sal’s local sports resume include being the TV studio host for Plymouth Whalers hockey of the Ontario Hockey League on MediaOne and Comcast Local, and also as a media relations director and TV color analyst on Fox Sports Net for the Detroit Rockers during the professional indoor soccer team’s tenure at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Personally, Sal and his wife Sarah reside in Grosse Pointe Woods and have two children, Matthew who is a student at Michigan State University and Francesca who is a high school senior.