(New York ” Feb. 2, 2009) As the world’s top canines primp for the 133rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, February 9 and 10 at New York’s Madison Square Garden, host David Frei prepares for his 20th year as the face and voice of the prime-time telecasts on USA Network and CNBC.
One of America’s foremost experts on all things canine, Frei will be paired this year with NBC Sports reporter and television personality Mary Carillo. Carillo is the latest in a distinguished array of Frei partners over the past 20 years, including:
- veteran sportscaster Al Trautwig (’90, ’91, ‘93);
- Boston Globe columnist and TV commentator Bud Collins (‘92);
- former “Today” show personality and NBC Sports baseball announcer Joe Garagiola (’94-’02);
- CBS News’ Mark McEwen (’03-’04);
- CBS News’ reporter Dr. Debbye Turner (’06);
- NBC News anchor Lester Holt (’05,’07,’08)
USA Network’s live coverage of the Hound, Terrier, Non-Sporting and Herding Group competitions airs Monday, February 9 from 8-9 p.m. ET and continues on CNBC from 9-11 p.m. ET. The coverage concludes Tuesday night live on USA from 8-11 p.m. ET with the Sporting, Working and Toy Groups followed by the Best In Show judging and the selection of America’s top dog.
Frei, who also serves as director of communications for the Westminster Kennel Club, is a longtime breeder-owner-handler and judge in the world of purebred dogs, enjoying much competitive success over the years with his Afghan Hounds and Brittanys. Ch. Stormhill’s Who’s Zoomin Who was the #1 Afghan in 1989 and retired as the top-winning female in the history of the breed. Several of his accomplished show dogs have moved into therapy dog work after retiring from the ring, visiting hospital and healthcare facility patients on a regular basis.
At Westminster, he helped to create Angel On A Leash, a charitable activity supporting a therapy dog program at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian. Angel On A Leash has now become an independent charity, with Frei serving as president/CEO and has expanded into a number of additional facilities across the country, including the Ronald McDonald House of New York City, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and Providence Health Care in Portland (OR).
Frei volunteers with his own dogs ” two Brittanys and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel ” at the Ronald McDonald House and Sloan Kettering. He also does volunteer work with Transfiguration Church and School in New York’s Chinatown and is also a member of the Sports Council of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
In 2002, he co-authored, with Mike Lingenfelter, The Angel By My Side, a critically-acclaimed best seller about a heroic service dog (www.angelbymyside.com). In 2004, he appeared in one of the final episodes of the HBO hit series, Sex And The City, playing a dog show judge awarding a big win to Charlotte and her Cavalier.
The son of Jerry Frei, college and professional football coach for the University of Oregon and the Denver Broncos, Frei sports a Super Bowl ring he earned as a public relations executive with the Broncos. He also held public relations positions with the San Francisco 49ers and ABC-TV Sports in New York. His wife, Cherilyn, is a certified Catholic chaplain and director of Spiritual Care at The Ronald McDonald House of New York City.