Graduating from Colgate University, Doug Wilson’s first job in entertainment was at NBC as a page while he pursued his ambition to become a musician, appearing on the shows Name That Tune, The Jack Paar Show, and Sunday Schedule. His next job came as a production assistant for Dick Clark’s American Bandstand where he also performed a song during one of the broadcasts. He then began work on the newly created ABC’s Wide World of Sports, first handling cue card duties then working his way up to associate director. In 1967 he directed his first sporting event, the World Water Skiing Championships in Sherbrooke, Canada. During his tenure at Wide World of Sports and ABC, Wilson directed over 50 different types of sporting events—from wrist-wrestling to football—across five continents, working with some of the most notable names in sports broadcasting including Howard Cosell and Jim McKay. Throughout his career, Wilson has directed and produced some of the most historic and well-known sporting events including the 1968 Mexico City and 1972 Munich Olympic Games (as well as many other Olympiads), NCAA football championships, the Grand Prix in Monaco, the “ping-pong diplomacy” match against the Chinese in Detroit, and arguably what he is best known for—Figure Skating Championships. Lauded throughout the sports broadcast industry for his direction of figure skating competitions and specials, Wilson, in 2003, became the first non-athlete to be inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
For his directing efforts across a wide range of sports, Wilson has been nominated for four DGA Awards for figure skating broadcasts in 1981, 1984, 1986 and 1990. In 1993 Wilson was the recipient of the DGA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Direction. He also won 17 Primetime Emmy Awards for directing and producing his sporting events. Wilson served on the DGA’s Eastern Directors Council from 1985-1995.