Pac-12 Networks Talent Gets Officially Underway

During their last day in Los Angeles for Pac-12 Football Media Day, the newly minted Pac-12 Networks on-air football game and studio crew got the full scoop on the Pac-12 Networks from its staff and executives in a four-hour talent welcome session.

The session marked the conclusion of an exciting two days in Los Angeles for Pac-12 Football Media Day, where the new Pac-12 football on air personalities were introduced to the media. What followed was a blur of handshakes, media interviews and photo shoots to mark the official arrival of Ashley Adamson, Curtis Conway, Ryan Nece, Glenn Parker, Kevin Calabro, Adam Archuleta, Coy Wire and Yogi Roth to the Pac-12 football scene.

The group got schooled on everything from the Pac-12 Networks programming and production strategy to an update on our distribution, marketing and digital work.

Among the speakers were Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, Pac-12 Enterprises President Gary Stevenson, Pac-12 Networks Executive Vice President & General Manager Lydia Murphy-Stephans, Senior Vice President of Production and Operations Leon Schweir, Vice President of Marketing and Promotions Greg Neal, Pac-12 Digital Vice President and General Manager David Aufhauser and Senior Vice President of Affiliate Sales and Marketing Art Marquez. Additionally, Pac-12 Officiating Coordinator Tony Corrente also gave the group a crash course in the rules and regulations both new and old Pac-12 officials will be focused on this fall in the field of play.

Yogi Roth, Ryan Nece, Curtis Conway and Rick Neuheisel were just four of the Pac-12 analysts in Universal City for the talent welcome meeting

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Pac-12 Networks, Shootin’ with the Coaches

By Greg Neal

Renaissance Hotel, 4th floor
Walnut Creek, California

With all the fuss about winning the Pac-12 Football Championship trophy, our coaches might be in line for a different type of hardware, an Academy Award.
We kicked off our inaugural creative on-air promotional campaign by shooting all 12 Pac-12 Football coaches, with a bit of a twist. It required a little acting, but that was no problem for our guys.
History Channel is no longer about History…MTV, no music…A&E, where’s the arts? Well, Pac-12 Networks will be all PAC-12 all the time.
So we did a little Hollywood spoof by making the coaches starts of TV shows you will NEVER see on our networks.
Whittlin’ with Whittingham? The only show about whittling starring Utah Coach Kyle Whittingham.
Fish n’ Chip! Oregon Coach Chip Kelley now has a fishing show?
And Mora Mora. Jim Mora and his twin brother take on the city’s dark side.
Then we follow up with a pre-empt message that takes you to a killer montage of Pac-12 action.
I’ll just tease everyone with these few and we’ll circulate them after we edit. We’ll be making up to 20 different promos.
Another day in the life of Hollywood.

Football isn’t the only thing Kyle Whittingham is good at

Chip Kelly goes fishin’

Jim Mora and his twin brother tackle crime on the streets of Los Angeles

Flemming excited to join networks

Like so many others involved with the conference, Dave Flemming acknowledges the Pac-12 may have been on the short end of media exposure over the years. That’s one of the reasons he is looking forward to joining the Pac-12 Networks as one of the play-by-play voices for the upcoming football season.

“Those of us out West have maybe spent some time over the years thinking the Pac-10, now the Pac-12, has gotten the short shrift,” Flemming said. “It’s a chance for us to do our own thing out here now.”

Flemming is no stranger to the Pac-12. He is a Stanford alum who later went on to become the Cardinal’s radio voice for both football and basketball. He also has extensive experience doing play-by-play for ESPN and has been a radio voice of the San Francisco Giants for nine years. Flemming called the Pac-12 championship game for ESPN radio last season.

“I’m really excited about it,” Flemming said. “As an alum and a longtime fan, I’m really happy that the league seems to be in such a good place right now. Once you go to one of these schools and are part of so many great moments, you have a deeper appreciation for what the whole thing means. I’ve really grown to love the conference.”

Flemming’s first assignment will be the Nevada-Cal game on Sept. 1. He will work analyst Coy Wire and sideline reporter Brooke Olzendam.

Football On-Air Talent Takes Shape

Some of the most respected personalities in sports broadcasting will be behind the mike for the inaugural football season on the Pac-12 Networks.

The networks announced Monday the on-air lineup for their broadcasts and it includes three of the finest play-by-play announcers in sports broadcasting — Ted Robinson, Kevin Calabro and Dave Flemming. Furthermore, the networks have brought on a handful of former Pac-12 standouts as color analysts — Adam Archuleta (Arizona State) Curtis Conway (USC), Ryan Nece (UCLA), Glenn Parker (Arizona) and Coy Wire (Stanford). They join the previously announced Rick Neuheisel and Ronnie Lott to make up a deep and talented team of experts.

The analysts will appear both on game telecasts and in the studio for pregame, postgame and halftime coverage. Ashley Adamson will anchor the studio shows.

Robinson is the current play-by-play voice of the San Francisco 49ers and has done it all in a 30-year broadcasting career. He has been the voice of a handful of pro and college teams and is well-known for his work with professional tennis and the Olympics.

Calabro is well-known for his NBA work on TNT and was the play-by-play voice of the Seattle SuperSonics for 21 years before they moved to Oklahoma City. Flemming has been a play-by-play broadcaster for the San Francisco Giants for nine years and has vast experience with ESPN.

For more on the broadcast teams, click here.

Pac-12 Football Media Day

Tuesday marks the unofficial beginning of football season with the annual media day at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. It will feature remarks from Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott and Pac-12 Enterprises president Gary Stevenson. Then each coach in the conference, along with an offensive player and defensive player, will have a session at the podium and field questions from the press.

A free live stream of the festivities is available on the Pac-12 website by clicking here. The link also includes the order of speakers.The conference’s youtube channel will also have the stream.

Also, click here for updates throughout the day, including recaps, photos and more.

The preseason media poll also be released tomorrow, which will help further put into perspective some of the marquee matchups being shown on the Pac-12 Networks this season.

More on the set

There was a lot of thought and exploration put into the set the Pac-12 Networks will use for original programming. Installed late last week, the set reflects the geography and atmosphere of the different Pac-12 institutions.

For one, real redwood is found throughout the set, which reflects the region. There is also granite, which can be found in the mountainous areas of the Pac-12 markets. And blue is a prevalent color, which reflects so many of the conference’s cities that are near water.

“It doesn’t feel like a log cabin, but by the same token it feels at home in the Pacific Coast region,” Pac-12 Enterprises Creative Director David Rickles said. “That speaks to the overall natural vibe to this set. The concept is rooted in being inspired by the natural surroundings in our environment and being able to physically represent them.”

Rickles also said the set has a “massive amount of technology, but it’s not in-your-face technology. We did it in a really classy way so it complements, it doesn’t dominate.”

Other notes about the set:

  • The reporting desks and platforms are all shaped like the Pac-12 shield, or together they make up the shield, depending on which part of the set.
  • All the podiums are on wheels so they can be moved around or cleared out of the studio entirely, if need be.
  • Rickles said “every single nook and cranny of this set, none of it will go to waste. We can use every single spare inch of it. In space, sports really hasn’t done that yet.”

Rickles also pointed out that all of the redwood used on the set was going to be discarded. Most redwoods come from ecologically sustainable farms that are cut down for lumber use. The redwood on the set came from a sustainable farm and was salvaged from a place where it was otherwise going to be thrown away.

“Before we justified putting redwood on the set, we asked where the source of the redwood was,” Rickles said. “We didn’t want it to just come from some guy who choped down redwood trees and sold the timber. It is saved from being destroyed and basically wasted wood.”

All set

Before AKA Creative Group could commence constructing the set for the Pac-12 Networks studio, it needed to know just how it would transport it from its shop in Toronto to San Francisco. So the company built a replica of the passenger elevator it would have to load the parts into at the networks’ office building.

“We had to make sure it fits,” AKA Creative Group President Andrew Kinsella said. “If it didn’t fit, we didn’t want to take a chainsaw to it.”

AKA ultimately built the set in 197 component parts, and they all fit into the elevator successfully last week when the final product was sent to the networks’ headquarters. It took four days to assemble, and the set is now ready for business as the launch of the networks is less than a month away.

“It was basically like a big Lego set,” Kinsella said.

The erection of the set is yet another major landmark as the networks get closer and closer to hitting the airwaves. The set features two podiums and an area for couches, and is designed in a way that makes for anchors, hosts and analysts to be mobile in a relaxed environment.

“We know our programming is going to grow and there is going to be a lot more to do down the road, so we allowed flexibility for the anchors to get up and be relaxed and walk around the environment,” Pac-12 Enterprises Creative Director David Rickles said. “It all feels seamlessly connected. Our specific brand terminology is the idea of connections. That sort of felt like a nice balance.”

Like most things with the networks, an aggressive timeline was set to get the set finalized. The networks started seeking proposals in early April and chose AKA on May 1. Construction began a few weeks later.

One of the reasons the networks chose AKA is it produced a set for TVA Sports, a Canadian sports network, in 100 days.

“We’ve managed to get things done with a quick timeline in the past so we were comfortable we could do it,” Kinsella said. “That was one of the first things they asked, if we could get it done in time. I told them not to worry, we’d do it.”