“A Day in the Life” of ESPN

Front Row’s 1st post | March 30, 2011

“This [launch of ESPNFrontRow.com] is a way for us to speak directly with consumers,” ESPN Vice President of Communications Mike Soltys told Sports Business Journal on March 30, 2011.

It’s a conversation that has flourished for 10 years with over 6,600 published items, nearly 20 million page views and the recognition that this blog’s beginnings were a harbinger of how public relations would evolve through the decade. From managing issues to celebrating those who create the magic to remembering colleagues Front Row, guided each day of its existence by the steady hand and savvy mind of longtime journalist Sheldon Spencer, has become a go-to source for everything ESPN.

What is striking about all those pixels and megapixels dedicated to the now-41-and-a-half-year-old ESPN is just how vast and how deep its roots are embedded in sports both domestically and internationally. In other words, we’ll never run out of stories to share and curtains to peel back.

So, what has changed during a decade of unmatched, inside access?

Glad you asked. Yesterday, anchored by three photographers  – Rich Arden, Kelly Backus (both in Bristol) and Phil Ellsworth (Charlotte) – and buoyed by contributions from Front Row’s ever-growing list of cross-Disney/ESPN colleagues – set out to again chronicle “A Day in the Life” of ESPN (all times ET). It was even more fun than the first time around.

Welcome - 12:01 AM

Front Row’s very first project and post was to chronicle a Day in the Life of ESPN. And no day at ESPN starts without a gate entry on the Bristol, Conn. campus. 

The gate location is actually different these days, but the process remains. Connected to the ESPN Welcome Center, employees enter campus with Digital Centers 1 and 2 – connected by the footbridge – directly in front of them.

12:11 AM

SportsCenter anchors Michael Eaves (seated) and Kenny Mayne (standing, barefoot) re-cap a monster day in sports from Studio X in Bristol. Said Mayne with oomph, “USC . . .  one of three Pac 12 teams to the Elite 8 . . . USC is your winner, 82-68.”

4:16 AM

ESPN.com Australia & NZ Senior Editor Stuart Randall sent along this “snap” from ESPN’s Sydney office. Said  Randall, “This is Assistant Editor Brittany Mitchell transcribing a New South Wales Waratahs rugby press conference after the sacking of their head coach.”

9:01 AM

Colleagues share some time in the Cafe Annex, with (l to r) Hugh MurphyGilberto Villegas and Brian Ellis catching up on the day’s news.

10:46 AM

Lead Media Operator Kacie Rich and crew ensure First Take’s interview with the UFC champion Francis Ngannou runs smoothly.

SportsCenter Anchors in Bristol

Hannah Storm made her way to the former home of SportsCenter, Studio F in Digital Center 1 for her 2011 SportsCenter duties . . .

. . . as Kevin Negandhi worked out of a re-designed Building 3 in preparation for Monday’s 6 p.m. SportsCenter, which originated from Studio X in Digital Center 2. 


Charlotte’s operation was humming throughout the day and included another fine edition of The Paul Finebaum Show.

12:18 PM

Senior Vice President Production & Content Strategy Jill Frederickson keeps tabs on the daytime SportsCenters. “What a difference a year makes. It’s definitely still quiet in the office with most colleagues working from home. But the topics are loud and abundant.

Today, we’ve been focused on our Men’s and Women’s Tournament highlights; best of the NBA; which QB gets drafted where?; and what we can expect on Baseball’s Opening Day? All of that and more in five hours of live SC before 2 p.m.!”

12:58 PM

“Apresentador da @espnbrasil” (SportsCenter host) Bruno Vicari is on air and on point.

1:11 PM

A drive-through vaccination clinic, held in conjunction with local health officials, serviced both ESPN employees and the general public. It’s one of many ESPN will support in the coming days.

1:44 PM

ACC Network was all over Miami Pro Day.

Jordan Cornette, Mark Herzlich and Mark Richt (in monitor) spoke with Miami players live from their workouts.

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12:34 PM

The commentators of the popular show F90 join host Sebastian Vignolo. (Photo via Associate Director Production Carlos Ghio)

3:12 PM

ESPN Brazil Production Supervisor Carolina Almeida – and baby Lucas – do some serious multi-tasking as Carolina is part of the live broadcast team. Many of ESPN’s workforce have adapted to work from home arrangements, allowing seamless integration while maintaining high standards.

4:02 PM

A coast-to-coast production, “Chiney and Golic Jr.” were joined today by Lenny’s friend, Mina Kimes, among others. Coordinating it all are Production Assistants Ryan Matlack and Clifford Augustin – look at all those monitors and the multiple forms of dialogue being employed!!

4:28 PM

The never-ending storylines of the NFL get the full treatment by NFL Live with Laura Rutledge and Dan Orlovsky in-studio.

5:00 PM

Tony and Mike are not in studio but there’s still plenty of buzz throughout PTI’s D.C. HQs. Providing valuable face time with the show’s famous heads is Julia Maldonado (far right), who also kindly provided “head shots” of some of her colleagues.

6:57 PM

Last-minute prep for (l-to-r) Maria Taylor, Carolyn Peck and Andy Landers, as the Elite 8 awaits from San Antonio. 

Longhorn Network

The team at LHN was taping elements for inclusion in the upcoming standalone special on the University of Texas Racial Geography Tour.

7:17 PM

Preparation and production for an edition of SportsCenter, Mexico.


Elite 8 games tipped off at 7 p.m. on ESPN with Ryan RuoccoRebecca Lobo and Holly Rowe on the call.

11:59 PM

The day is done and the work continues. . .

Meet the Photographers

Morning/Midday Shift, Bristol

Afternoon/Night Shift, Bristol

Afternoon/Night Shift, Charlotte

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