EDITOR’S NOTE: ESPN’s coverage of the best-of-three World Cup of Hockey Final continues tonight with Game 2 as Team Canada meets Team Europe (ESPN2 and ESPN Radio, 8 p.m. ET) from Toronto’s Air Canada Centre. Canada leads the series 1-0.
TORONTO – Terri Dippolito, ESPN senior operations manager, was tasked with overseeing and managing the technical, logistical and crewing portions of the operations budget for World Cup of Hockey 2016. Front Row caught up with her before the Final.
What are some specifics of your role?
I secure equipment and make sure all show requirements are well-planned. I ensure that the show is staffed with quality technicians and I supervise them on site. I assist with creating and managing our schedules each day so that our production teams have everything that they need to succeed.
When did you learn you were working WCH and what was the first thing you did?
In February – I reached out to my supervisor Rex Arends, director, remote production and operations – expressing interest in managing this special event. I told him that “I have a great team in mind to work with me on this event.” He said, “Go for it!”
With the event in Canada, are there additional challenges?
The only issue has been getting our gear into Canada in a reasonable time. We need to register every nut and bolt for customs using a form called a “carnet” which requires a detailed description of each item along with serial numbers, size, weight and use. If a customs agent isn’t sure of the contents, he/she has the right to hold up delivery.
– Terri Dippolito
Tell us about the operations team working this event?
We have a great group of exceptional individuals on the team who each bring something unique to this event and help make it a success. ESPN colleagues include Annika Ruscoe and Jill Clark, the operations coordinators. They help keep it all together. They work as a team on the pre-planning, preparation and then on execution. They are both on site and will see it through to the end. They complement each other and do so without missing a beat. Eric Grossman, operations producer, is also a key member of the team. All are avid hockey fans
Ryan Wentworth is our remote traffic coordinator. He makes sure the fiber is working, transmission is booked, the phones lines are installed and working, that everyone has the Internet and that our TVU (IP-based camera) is paired with the Mobile unit or with Bristol throughout the event.
How do you work seamlessly with production?
I consider us a team and one can’t be successful without the other. Production provides the content and operations provides the tools and staff to get that content out to our viewers. We help each other throughout the process, work together and meet on a daily basis. Communication is also key. Working with Bill Graff, senior coordinating producer, and his team has been a pleasure.