Forward/Rewind: ESPN employees applaud colleagues on other properties


Editor’s Note: With this multi-week series — the Front Row Forward/Rewind, 2015/2014 — ESPN’s Communications Department takes the pulse of content executives and their properties throughout ESPN for views on what transpired in 2014 and a glimpse into 2015. It was a monster year for ESPN, with the success of the World Cup; the phenomenal launch of the SEC Network; the opening of Digital Center 2, the new home for SportsCenter and NFL Studio shows; and so much more. We can never encapsulate all the amazing things ESPN did this year, but the Forward/Rewind does its best to recognize the moments we’ll all remember.

Top 10 Most-Viewed Stories on in 2014
1. NBA: LeBron James says he’s returning to the Cavs  4.1M total page views
2. NFL: Panthers QB Cam Newton involved in car accident  3.3M total page views
3. NFL: Ray Rice cut, then suspended by NFL  3.0M page views
4. NFL: Adrian Peterson booked, released  2.9M page views
5. NBA: Agent to Heat: LeBron opting out  2.7M page views
6. NCAAF: Ohio State DL Kosta Karageorge found dead  2.6M page views
7. NBA: Kevin Love would commit to Cavs  2.5M page views
8. NFL: Wife defends Ray Rice, slams media  2.4M page views
9. NBA: LeBron James wants max salary  2.3M page views
10. MLB: Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn dies  2.1M page views

1. SportsCenter applauds SEC Network

Senior Vice President, SportsCenter and News, Rob King: “The launch of the SEC Network, particularly its telecast of the Aug. 28 Texas A&M-South Carolina game. The game announcers kept silent as the sound and pictures conveyed the power of South Carolina’s traditional ‘Sandstorm’ celebration. Incredible theater, and a huge kickoff for this new initiative.”

2. NFL hails Digital Center 2

Vice President, Production and MNF Producer, Jay Rothman: “When I got to ESPN, I think there were 300 employees – now there are 7,000 – yet, we still have that ‘little engine that could’ mentality, the desire to be great. . . The Digital Center is the crème de la crème.”

3. X Games salutes College GameDay

Vice President, X Games Events and Content, Tim Reed: “The energy and unique content experience that College GameDay delivered week in and week out was truly a pleasure to watch, particularly given the consistency required for the show’s format.”

4. OTL cites ESPN’s Features Unit and E:60

Senior Coordinating Producer, Studio Production, David Brofsky: “I enjoyed the Mendota feature done by our Features Unit [and] the Morganna piece done by E:60.”

5. International hails ESPN Films

Vice President and General Manager, ESPN EMEA, Charly Classen:”Though it was not televised here in the UK when it launched, the [Primetime Emmy-nominated] Hillsborough documentary that the ESPN Films group created was a fantastic, sensitive exploration of one of the most delicate subjects in English sporting history.”

6. SportsCenter praises Grantland, ESPN Films, Wright Thompson

Senior Vice President, SportsCenter and News, Rob King: “I enjoyed Grantland’s multi-part Steve Nash documentary The Finish Line and Putt-Putt Perfection which also is from Grantland; The U Part Two from the 30 for 30 team and Wright Thompson’s amazing World Cup writing before and during the World Cup (including his prescient report on Luis Suarez).”

7. Applause for 2014 FIFA World Cup coverage from many corners

Vice President, Production, Rich Feinberg: “ESPN’s coverage of the World Cup not only resonated with me, but I couldn’t decide on any given day if I was a bigger fan or if I was a colleague of those who were working on it and in awe of their efforts.”

NFL Senior Coordinating Producer Seth Markman: “I knew it was going to be done well by this company. I just never expected it to be quite what I saw. . . I give credit to Jed Drake and Amy Rosenfeld and the effort they led with so many ESPNers in Brazil.”

Senior Vice President, SportsCenter and News, Rob King:”The groundbreaking work of the entire World Cup team from Brazil. Epic.”

8. Soccer thanks everyone for help on 2014 FIFA World Cup production

Senior Coordinating Producer, Soccer, Amy Rosenfeld: “I loved the way every department at ESPN (both in the U.S. and internationally) contributed to the 2014 FIFA World Cup production.”

Dan Quinn, Bill Hofheimer, Allison Stoneberg, Mac Nwulu, Danny Chi, Andy Hall, Paul Melvin and Kristie Chong Adler contributed to this post

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