Forward/Rewind: Technology/ESPN Audio

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.



Technology

Chuck Pagano, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

Chuck Pagano
Chuck Pagano

What was the best example of your unit’s teamwork from 2013?
The Technology team had a couple of real big wins for the company and the two that stick out are: 1. The engineering and build out of our new Digital Center 2 (DC2) and 2. The development and rollout of our new SportsCenter application.

What element from another ESPN production unit resonated with you most in 2013 and why?
As a Boston Red Sox fan, our coverage from Fenway Park excited me big time! Plus, winning the Series was also a nice addition!

What excites you most about using DC2 in 2014?
I’m excited about some of the new technological improvements my team has engineered for DC2. The significance of having a video format agnostic platform will not be apparent on Day 1 (in the spring) but will become a “wow” feature within a couple of years.

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Audio

Jim Pastor, SVP, ESPN Local

Jim Pastor
Jim Pastor

What was the best example of your unit’s teamwork from 2013?
It is hard to single out one example as the best, especially when collaboration is the foundation of how our local radio and digital edit teams operate. Still, it would be hard to ignore what an incredible job our ESPN Boston team did in supporting every company platform with the feet we had on the ground covering the Boston Marathon bombing. It was a tough day for those covering and of course, those who experienced it firsthand, but we all came together to help tell the story.

What was your group’s “most social” moment of 2013?
Stuck in a slow news day? Looking for something to ignite a fan base? [Dallas Mavericks owner] Mark Cuban to the rescue. After Cuban tweeted the [Los Angeles] Lakers should amnesty Kobe [Bryant], the Lakers star dropped 38 points and 12 rebounds on the Mavericks, leading to one million-plus page views on ESPNDallas.com/ESPNLA.com and plenty of great sports radio talk with this exchange:

What element from another ESPN production unit resonated with you most in 2013 and why?
Until you’ve had a chance to experience ESPN’s College GameDay in person, you can’t appreciate the impact it has on an entire community. When it descended on Northwestern’s campus in early October, I got a chance to witness the power of the brand and to see the lengths fans will go to get noticed and to be heard (preferably by Lee Corso or Sam Ponder).

Forward/Rewind graphic by Samantha Baron

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