Forward/Rewind: NBA/ESPN The Magazine
ESPN The Mag
Chad Millman, Editor-in-Chief
What excites you most about 2013?
The Mag grew in several ways the past 12 months, with all the storytellers — from designers to photo editors to the folks working with words — getting a much better feel for what kind of magazine we want to be and how to exist within ESPN. Now that we’ve laid that foundation, I think there is a greater opportunity for us to have an impact, both on our readers and as content partners, with the rest of the platforms at ESPN.
Name the one moment from 2012 that exemplifies your team’s approach to delivering its content.
The execution of the “One Day, One Game” issue we did from Baton Rouge, La. about the LSU-Bama game. That started as just an idea for the magazine but grew into a multi-platform experience that included every element of the company including a coordinated effort with the ESPN social team. On game day, we had photo editors culling thousands of behind-the-scenes pics for a running photo gallery on ESPN.com that received one million hits in 24 hours. Two weeks later, we produced an issue that collected all this for a record of one of the season’s best game, which exemplified the best of college football.
The most popular #Hashtag of 2013 will be. . .
#Mag15. Because The Mag is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2013, which will include a double-issue commemorating where sports has been since we were born and where it is going as well as a coordinated effort with SportsCenter to air vignettes about the biggest moments in sports during our decade-and-a-half.
–By Carrie Kreiswirth
Editor’s Note: With this multi-week series — the Front Row Forward/Rewind, 2013/2012 — ESPN’s Communications Department takes the pulse of content executives throughout ESPN for their views on what’s ahead across ESPN for 2013 and some of what transpired in 2012. The snapshots provide a look at where ESPN has been, where it’s going and how it plans on getting there.
NBA on ESPN
Tim Corrigan, senior coordinating producer
Best off camera moment:
Watching how our team of 300 people (all departments, all platforms) come together at the NBA Finals is such a source of pride for everyone. The mission is simply “whatever it takes,” and everyone lives up to that standard. The NBA Finals comes at the end of a 10-month season and there is nothing better than the payoff when a team or player achieves their ultimate goal. In the last five years we have watched the Celtics “Big 3” win their first title, Kobe [Bryant] go back-to-back, Dirk [Nowitzki] win and have to leave the court because he was so emotional and LeBron James finally quieting his critics.
Favorite segment or interview:
Two favorite moments: First was Game 4 of the NBA Finals when LeBron James had leg cramps. Everything about his story became heightened in that one moment — his struggles to get up the court, laying down on the court, his teammates carrying him off the court and the trainers massaging him and getting liquids into his body. Then he checks back into the game, the building explodes and he pays it off with a dramatic three-pointer that leads to a victory. Nothing can compare with the world’s greatest basketball player fighting through injury to ultimately lead his team to the NBA Championship. The second was at the end of Game 5 with the “unbridled joy” LeBron showed on the sidelines as the clock counted down. Watching someone’s dream come true was truly remarkable.
#Hashtag of the year for 2013:
#whoisgonnamakethefinals. Truly a year when it could be almost anyone in the NBA Finals.
New Year’s resolution for NBA on ESPN:
To make it memorable and rewarding for the fans. We will continue to focus on proper documentation of the events that happen on the court and the stories that personalize the players and coaches. We will also bring our viewers closer to the game through microphones on players and coaches, plus new technology like the Imovix split block cameras that shoot through the glass and bring the viewer right to where the action is.
What makes your group a family:
We have a very experienced group of talent, producers and directors who have worked the NBA Finals, Super Bowls, Final Fours and Olympics and we all push each other to constantly improve the quality of our telecasts. Since our season begins in October and ends in July, we are able to rotate our production staff so everyone — talent, producers, directors, ADs, APs, PAs, plus our operations staff — gets a chance to work with one another. I think this leads to a better sense of community on the project and keeps everyone fresh.
Forward/Rewind logo by Samantha Baron