ESPN Radio Talent Producer Josh Drew on establishing a new White House contact
This morning, President Barack Obama made his second guest spot in nine months on ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd.
The interview – during which the President addressed a number of sports-related topics – came together within about 24 hours.
The groundwork for it began long before that.
“This has been something that has been in the works since the last time we had [Obama] on in March,” said ESPN Radio Talent Producer Josh Drew.
“My original White House contact left in June, and I never heard from him again, so I had to start from the ground up to find a new contact. After a few weeks, I was able to find someone, and I checked in with her every couple of weeks starting in September. Sometimes it was just an email to say hello. This is very much like a sales job, touching base with clients and making sure you are top of mind when they have something to promote.
“Fast forward to December. I send out just over 100 holiday cards every year to teams, agents and publicists who I have worked with over the year. When I emailed her for her address – I figured 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue might not be the best one – I mentioned my hope to have the President on with us in 2015. She wrote back and said it might be sooner than you think.
“Booking the President is never something that can be locked in weeks in advance. Usually, they call you, and you say yes, no matter the timing or the day.
“I’d say after two solid interviews with the President, not only does Colin have a very close relationship with him now, but I think if Obama was running again, Colin would be a serious contender for Vice President.”
The Herd producer Vince Kates-Paulus said the interview was “a no-brainer for Colin. He always marvels at the 50-50 split reaction from the audience, mostly down party lines.
“It’s one of the few times you’ll see Colin show some nerves leading up to an interview. We make several drafts of the questions we’re asking and we’re editing them until the segment before the President calls.”