Thursday, July 09, 2009
I was hesitant to put this interview up for a few reasons, but the main one being, I didn't want to promote anything involving Colin Cowherd. However, there isn't much going on today, so here you go. After taking ESPN's new show "Sports Nation" in over the past few days, I've decided to post this small interview I did with show host, Michelle Beadle (and no it's not because she's an AA reader....well okay, that's part of it).
If you haven't seen it yet, Sports Nation is yet another show in a long line of programs that are trying to use the viewers as their content drivers. Among our topics include: How SN can succeed where others have failed, what she thinks of Cowherd and of course her daily Internet reads. Enjoy!
1. You've worked everywhere from YES Network, to Animal Planet, and have even covered a few red carpet events. What attracted you to this show?
Michelle Beadle: The guys who developed this show are the best. I met Jamie Horowitz, David Jacoby, and Kevin Wildes many months ago, really before I knew much about the show, and I loved them right away. They were like buddies I'd had for years. That, combined with Colin's sense of humor, seemed to be like a fun way to make a living.
2. Many networks, including ESPN in the past, have tried fan inspired shows like this. What makes you think "Sports Nation" can succeed, where so many have failed?
MB: I hope our show is unique enough to succeed. ESPN needs a way to show we don't expect to have the final say, and Colin and I are happy to be the ones to prove it. We're all fans, obviously, and we all hang out with friends talking sports. We want to have that feel, with the fans as the third "host."
3. With programs of this nature, a lot of work is done on the fly. How much time is spent preparing for the show?
MB: An average day for me is 9 til the end of the day. The producers get in around 8 am, and immediately start scouring the interweb for fun stories. While we script the show, we also try to keep it pretty loose. Colin hates the prompter.
4. Your co-host, Colin Cowherd, has made some waves (to put it lightly) with Sports Blogs in the past. How do you think he fits into the show, and do you think his radio background has prepared him for a studio show?
MB: I never realized the love/hate relationship Colin has with everyone out there. Then friends started sending me articles and blogs ripping him to shreds. Great reading. This has been interesting to watch as he is forced not only to read the blogosphere, but embrace it.
5. With that said, having to peruse Sports Blogs and fan comments for the show. What can you tell us about the better ones and how will they be utilized during "SN"?
MB: Our web producer, Gabe Goodwin, has the best gig. He is the guy who gets to read all the comments and listen to all the calls. As a matter of fact, after yesterday, we got a bunch of "Fake Calls from Real Fans," some great, some just funny. We will use those today. We really want a lot of fan input. After rehearsing and using made-up tweets and emails, we're super jacked to have legitimate material.
6. What are your daily reads when it comes to the Internet?
MB: My daily reads: AwfulAnnouncing (duh), Deadspin, ESPN, TMZ, Pagesix, Dlisted, mediatakeout, sportsbybrooks....the list goes on and on..
7. What are your expectations for the debut of the show? Those in the future?
MB: Our expectations for Monday were simple: get the show on the air. Now we want to just improve every day, and get smarter. There are so many talented people in this group, and I think as we evolve, they will really get to show off.
Many thanks to Michelle for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions, and check out the show if you get a chance. It airs Monday through Friday at 4pm on ESPN2.