Forward/Rewind: SportsCenter/
Original Programming

1Screen shot 2013-12-26 at 11.28.04 AMEditor’s Note: With this multi-week series — the Front Row Forward/Rewind, 2014/2013 — ESPN’s Communications Department takes the pulse of content executives throughout ESPN for their views on what’s ahead across ESPN for 2014 and some of what transpired in 2013. The snapshots provide a look at where ESPN has been, where it’s going and how it plans on getting there.

Mark Gross, Senior VP & Executive Producer, Production

Mark Gross
Mark Gross

What excites you most about using ESPN’s new Digital Center (DC2) in 2014?
I’m looking forward to seeing how we can evolve SportsCenter across all of our platforms by being in the new DC2. While the DC2 will dramatically change the overall look of SportsCenter on television, DC2 will also have an impact on how SportsCenter services other platforms because of the resources available in the new building. For years now, SportsCenter has been live close to 20 hours a day, however, we’ve been working out of a studio which was designed when SportsCenter was live three or four hours a day. I think the new DC2 will greatly enhance and challenge our production teams given the variety and volume of things available to them every day.

What was the “most social” moment of 2013 for SportsCenter?
I think the best example we’ve had as the “most social” moment was the story involving Owen Groesser. The E:60 team did an amazing job producing the feature that re-capped the Twitter campaign to get him on SportsCenter. Owen’s fans did an amazing job making the world aware of Owen’s accomplishments. We’re just glad SportsCenter was able to play a small role.

What element from another ESPN production unit resonated with you most in 2013 and why?
I continue to look forward to each 30 for 30. Every time I think I’ve seen the best one, another one airs which is better than the previous one I saw. I’m looking forward to the 30 for 30 on the Big East later this year.


Original Progamming
Kevin Wildes, Senior Coordinating Producer, Original Programming and Production

Kevin Wildes
Kevin Wildes

What element from another ESPN production unit resonated with you most in 2013 and why?
Sing it from the highest mountain – Bob Ley in the snow! Bob continues to expertly blend professionalism, passion, and a sense of humor. It’s not a coincidence that he’s at the center of two consistently excellent and impressive productions – World Cup soccer and OTL.

What was the “most social” moment of 2013?
The opinion makers that we work with have no shortage of social currency. We’re always thinking about how we can turn that social currency into a real life experience. For First Take, that meant recruiting fans of the show to participate in an April Fool’s Day stunt that got them closer to Skip [Bayless] and Stephen A. [Smith].

New Years’ Resolution for 2014, maybe expressed in a hashtag?
I’ll borrow one from Steve Jobs and one from my mother: #thinkdifferent and #eatmorevegetables.

Jay Jay Neshiem contributed to this post

Forward/Rewind logo by Samantha Baron

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