Forward/Rewind: Monday Night Football and espnW

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Laura Gentile
espnW VP Laura Gentile

#Hashtag of the year for 2012:
#Olympics. It was a breakthrough Olympic Games for women around the world: 1) Every single country was represented by at least one female athlete. 2.) The US Women were dominant — winning 65 percent of Team USA’s gold medals. 3.) Young girls and women across the globe were inspired by such achievement. Personally, I had the opportunity to attend my first Olympic Games and I was in awe of the event in its scope and magnitude.

#Hashtag of the year for 2013:
#IOCprezNawal. Nawal el Moutawakel from Morocco becomes the first female President of the IOC. The election takes place in Buenos Aires in September 2013.

A big prediction for your property in 2013:
There will be more of espnW on TV. Viewers will see espnW content being featured more and more across ESPN networks, particularly within all live women’s sporting events. — Posted by Diane Lamb[/box]


Editor’s Note: With this two-week series — the Front Row Forward/Rewind, 2013/2012 — ESPN’s Communications Department takes the pulse of content executives throughout ESPN for their views on what’s ahead across ESPN for 2013 and some of what transpired in 2012. The snapshots provide a look at where ESPN has been, where it’s going and how it plans on getting there.

Monday Night Football

Jay Rothman, Producer, Monday Night Football

Best off-camera moment:
U.S. Marine Sgt. Zach Stinson, a 23-year-old who lost both legs on a tour of duty in Afghanistan and spent the past two years at Walter Reed Hospital, spoke to our group at our morning production meeting in Pittsburgh before the Chiefs-Steelers game. He walked in and received a standing ovation. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. His words were inspiring and having him in our meeting gave us a true appreciation for Veterans Day.

Jay Rothman
Jay Rothman

Favorite segment or interview:
The Hail Mary touchdown on the final play of the Packers-Seahawks game in Seattle was the play of the year on MNF and a defining moment of the NFL season. The overwhelming controversy surrounding the call was the ultimate in “water cooler” talk, and just a few days later it was the end of the replacement officials. Amidst all the confusion, our crew had that play covered from every angle.

#Hashtag of the year for 2013:
#RGIII. Robert Griffin III will be a star in this league for a very long time. He’s dynamic, charismatic, the total package. He had a big debut on MNF this month against the Giants, and we hope to see a lot more of him on Monday nights. He’s going to be one of those rare “move the meter” players.

New Year’s resolution for MNF:
Every year our goal is to raise the bar and make MNF even better than the year before. We want to innovate creatively, technically, and in our overall production and presentation. We want to continue to develop Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters in their second season together. Also, we have had some creative opens for individual games, but we’d like to develop a big show open to kick off the telecast for our entire schedule.

What makes your group a family?
During MNF telecasts this year, we used photos of our team on billboards coming back from commercials (see image below). This was a nice way to acknowledge so many of the great people involved in MNF. We travel together 20 weeks out of the year, so we spend more time on the road together than most people do with their families. Everyone is treated equally and everyone has a voice. We work extremely hard and we all share tremendous pride and responsibility in being the torch-bearers of MNF.

In-game billboards like the one above were used in 2012 to highlight the men and women who bring MNF to viewers all season long.
In-game billboards, like this one, were used in 2012 to highlight the men and women who bring MNF to viewers all season long.

Forward/Rewind logo by Samantha Baron

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