Beyond providing unparalleled coverage and insight to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Lakers through SportsNet LA and SportsNet, Spectrum Networks also open up their doors with regularity to inquiring media members and students interested in pursuing a career in the field.
Both LakersNation.com and our sister site, DodgerBlue.com, have graciously been the benefactors of behind-the-scenes tours and exclusive interviews. This week, senior director of sports and news communications, Stacey Mitch, extended that opportunity to a group of students from Loyola Marymount University for TV & Film Career Night.
Their night began with background and advice from Brandon Moore, a producer at Spectrum who previously worked at ESPN, both in Connecticut and Los Angeles. He was hand-picked by senior coordinating producer AJ Ponsiglione who was first to make the jump from ESPN L.A.
Along with Moore and Ponsiglione, coordinating producer of original programming Brian DeCloux, producer and editor of original programming Jesse Aron, and Lakers insider Mike Bresnahan also spoke with the students.
Ponsiglione can be best be described as the engine that drives Dodgers and Lakers programming. He’s involved in various business aspects of the networks and otherwise has his focus on delivering quality content.
So it was with Ponsiglione that the students quenched their thirst for knowledge. He immediately was peppered with questions ranging from cameras and editing software the studio utilizes to how one can secure an internship with Spectrum.
In an industry where game highlights can capture the audience, creating such a package can be key to a postgame broadcast. It’s one area Spectrum SportsNet has an upper hand because they hold exclusive television rights for the majority of games.
“They’re sending us content and we’re turning that around immediately,” Ponsiglione explained of the relationship between the studio and on-location crews. “Because it’s our own production, we can actually get more from the truck.
“For example, if someone has a great dunk, it’s our play of the day. We can call our truck and say, ‘Send us all the angles of that play.’ So they’ll send us all that on a backpath and we can utilize it any way we want.”
After Ponsiglione fielded questions from the inquiring minds, he implored the group to pursue an array of internships and directed them to where such opportunities can be found.
Tonight a few @LoyolaMarymount students got a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of our studios for Spectrum SportsNet’s TV & Film Career Night. 🎥
The future is bright! pic.twitter.com/gWcfkxgJBh
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) February 27, 2018
When DeCloux and Aron took center stage, they focused on the intricacies of bringing “Backstage: Lakers” to life. Whether filming off an iPhone, handheld or standard camera equipment, the goal is to create “upper-echelon sports television,” DeCloux explained.
A visit to the control room provided students with a glimpse into where their careers may take them and experience how the production crew coordinates with on-air talent and truck that is on location for that evening’s Lakers game.
Embodying Ponsiglione’s message from earlier in the evening, a Spectrum Networks intern was working the teleprompter. Although the job may seem mundane, Ponsiglione stressed the importance of it, because of the trouble that can arise if a host is unable to read their script.
From there it was to the set to meet host Chris McGee, Bresnahan, and analysts Robert Horry and James Worthy. And while the night centered around the students learning what’s required to break into the sports industry, meeting the former players was a treat in and of itself.
“My parents are going to flip out!” one exclaimed as she walked off the set.