Behind The ScenesSportsCenter

SportsCenter: AM kicks off Monday with additional daytime tweaks

SportsCenter coordinating producer Scott Clark. (David Scott/ESPN)
SportsCenter coordinating producer Scott Clark has overseen the process of creating the new show. (David Scott/ESPN)

ESPN’s signature news and information program SportsCenter will take on a new look Monday morning with the launch of SportsCenter:AM at 7 a.m. ET along with revamped shows at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon to complete the daytime lineup.

Scott Clark, ESPN coordinating producer, has overseen the process of creating a new show and retooling existing shows since being assigned to the morning block in August. Clark, who has been with ESPN since 1999 – and who coincidentally shares initials with the flagship show – spoke with Front Row about the process.

 The SportsCenter: AM team participated in a photo session last week on the new-look set with ESPN Images photographer Allen Kee (far right). Pictured (L-R) Kevin Negandhi, Jaymee Sire, Sarina Morales and Jay Harris (Andy Hall/ESPN)
The SportsCenter: AM team participated in a photo session last week on the new-look set with ESPN Images photographer Allen Kee (far right). Pictured (L-R): Anchor Kevin Negandhi, anchor Jaymee Sire, contributor Sarina Morales and anchor Jay Harris. (Andy Hall/ESPN)

It’s been a long process but what’s it been like to create something from the beginning?
It’s been really interesting balancing the shows that have been on the air and really trying to create SportsCenter:AM. We took the opportunity to re-envision the whole rest of the daytime SportsCenters and really try and create an identity for the entire morning.

How would you explain to a viewer what’s going to make the 7 a.m. show different?
It’s repackaging and reimagining the night in sports for the morning. We’re going to give what happened the night before a very different treatment than the shows at night give it and also what the previous daytime SportsCenters have given it. It’ll be more conversational and have a little more personality to the highlight presentation but also will have a much faster pace than we’re used to for morning SportsCenters. It’ll be really noticeable how fast the show is going to move as we repackage the night.

When you did the photo session last week with the anchors, did it hit you that this is really happening or had that already happened for you?
I think I’ve already had that realization just because it’s still SportsCenter. It’s new and it’s going to look different and feel different, and it really is going to be a different show than any SportsCenter has ever been. But at the same time it’s in the same studio and it’s with familiar anchors, so I don’t know if there was that kind of moment, but it definitely made it real that it was coming soon. The timing of how close we were really hit me at that point.

You’ve been having rehearsals this week – what is it like seeing everything coming together on the set?
We’ve had so many meetings and discussions and everything the last few months and then just to see the new graphics and animations on the set and in practice and getting everyone out there together has been a good experience this week. It’s been a long time coming, like forever for all of us who have been working on the project.

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