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"Sports Machine" Host George Michael Dies
WASHINGTON (AP) -- George Michael, a mainstay on the Washington, D.C., sports television scene for decades who reached a national audience with "The George Michael Sports Machine" highlights show, has died. He was 70 years old.

Michael's daughter, Michelle Allen, said Michael died Thursday morning from complications of chronic lymphocytic leukemia at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

In a statement, WRC TV in Washington, where Michael had been a sports director, called him a pioneer in sports broadcasting. His show, which began as a late-night local feature, ran from 1980 to 2007. The trendsetting program became the first nationally syndicated sports highlights show in 1984 and was eventually broadcast in 194 markets across the United States and in 10 foreign countries.

Michael's family says plans for a memorial service are not yet complete.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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