I’m a recent transplant to ESPN and Bristol, by way of Los Angeles. I received my undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and my Master’s degree from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. At ESPN, I handle TV listings and viewer inquiries for ESPN Deportes and our international networks, and I provide support for our ESPN MediaZone.
Sports have always been a passion of mine, and everywhere I have lived has played a role in the teams I follow: I grew up in El Paso, TX where I was born and bred a Dallas Cowboys fan; a college study-abroad program in Barcelona, Spain fostered a fanatic love for FC Barcelona and gave me the unforgettable experience of watching a few games in the Camp Nou; a period of living in the San Francisco Bay area made me partial to the Oakland A’s ($2 Tuesdays and Dollar Dogs may have helped) and the Golden State Warriors; and my time as a graduate student at USC made me a Trojan for life.
My tenure at ESPN has thus far been exciting and enriching, and though the New England winters will take some getting used to, a la Mark Twain, the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.
posted by Tara Chozet on December 6, 2013 10:59 AM
Play-by-play commentator Adrian Healey will call his second MLS Cup this weekend with lead match analyst Taylor Twellman when Sporting KC hosts Real Salt Lake on Saturday (4 p.m. ET, ESPN and WatchESPN). A native of Swindon in Wiltshire, England, Healey has been a soccer commentator and host for ESPN since 2003 after previously working in radio and TV for the MLS’s New England Revolution.
On the eve of calling Major League Soccer’s championship event, Front Row talked to Healey about his very early work in broadcasting.
You began your career at a young age in something called “hospital radio.” What is that?
It’s like a local NPR [National Public Radio] operation, originally formed to broadcast just to hospitals. It retained the name from an earlier era.
How did that job opportunity come about?
I was 13, and I had always dreamed about being a commentator. I got a chance to work for my local professional team, Swindon, in the third division. They were covered by this local radio station, which was mostly a volunteer operation, but a lot of people listened to it. My dad knew someone who worked there and mentioned I was interested in commentating. I had to call a reserve game first for a trial, but they realized, “Oh yeah, you really can do it!”
What do you remember about your first game?
I’ll always remember my first game, which Swindon won 8-0 against a team called Bury. From that moment, I was hooked. They must’ve thought I was some sort of lucky charm because they invited me back. I think they also liked the fact that my high voice at the time carried over their old equipment.
Who were some of your commentating influences at the time?
BBC had two commentators who were huge influences on me. First, there was Barry Davies – I always loved the way he commentated. I remember the excitement of seeing him come to Swindon. It was a rare thing that they got the national spotlight on a BBC game, but they did one week. I was in the stands watching Barry take his place in the commentary booth. I thought it looked impossibly glamorous and knew I wanted to be doing what he was doing. Brian Moore was also someone I used to listen to a lot and really enjoyed.
How did you make it to the United States from England? What was your first job here?
I came to the U.S. in 1992 to work in radio, on the music side at WFNX in Boston. I started soccer work again in 1997 just after the MLS formed.
posted by Tara Chozet on September 9, 2013 3:45 PM
Editor’s Note: The USA plays Mexico tomorrow in a World Cup qualifier. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2, then continues at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
Joe Rodriguez, a producer for ESPN since January 2012, knows how heated the rivalry between the USA and Mexican soccer teams goes. He has been a part of ESPN’s studio team for the network’s live soccer coverage for some of the sport’s most intense matchups, including the USA-Costa Rica “snow game.” But USA-Mexico is on another level, a rivalry which Rodriguez calls “one of the deepest in sports.” For Rodriguez, who says soccer is his favorite sport, the series is personal, having been born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and moving to the United States at the age of eight. Rodriguez shared his thoughts on the upcoming match with Front Row.
What are some of the storylines we can expect to be highlighted for the USA-Mexico match? continue reading…
posted by Tara Chozet on August 9, 2013 4:00 PM
If it happens in soccer, ESPN FC on TV has it covered; news and analysis program kicks off Sunday on ESPN2
The ESPN FC global soccer news and information television show is gearing up for its Aug. 11 (10 p.m. ET, ESPN2) launch with studio rehearsals at ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., campus.
An extension of ESPNFC.com, the new television show is unique in its online-to-on-screen approach, incorporating several elements of the digital platform’s content via contributors, social media, data analysis and more.
Front Row caught up with Coordinating Producer Steve Palese to discuss the ESPN FC launch.
What should fans expect from ESPN FC on TV? continue reading…
posted by Tara Chozet on June 12, 2013 8:00 AM
Today marks 365 days until the start of one of the planet’s most anticipated sporting events: the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
In recognition of the one-year countdown, a team of about 20 employees from ESPN’s Facilities and Operations and Creative Services groups created a visual work of art that represents more than 80 years of the “beautiful game’s” history.
First conceptualized by Jed Drake, senior vice president of production, the World Cup Wall offers a timeline with photos beginning with the 1930 tournament in Uruguay. The images chronicle key moments, top players and the winning nations from each World Cup event.
The wall extends approximately 200 feet along a main walkway leading into the ESPN Café on the company’s Bristol, Conn., campus. continue reading…
posted by Tara Chozet on January 24, 2013 4:41 PM
Editor’s note: I Follow is all about ESPN employees on Twitter: what they tweet, whom they follow and how you can interact socially with anyone and everyone.
Twitter Handle: @lonmceachern
(*As of 1/24/13)
Lon McEachern is known as ESPN’s “voice of poker.” But he’s also in his first season covering ESPN’s bowling telecasts. McEachern is paired with PBA Hall of Famer Randy Pedersen as the commentating team.
Both will be on-site to call the action live for the first of six PBA League events on ESPN, airing Sunday, Jan. 27, noon ET in a two-hour telecast. The PBA League, a new concept in the 2012-2013 bowling season, is an eight-team pro bowling league featuring PBA stars as Franchise Players and celebrities from the TV and sports worlds as team owners, including the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul, tennis legend Billie Jean King, Grey’s Anatomy’s actor Jesse Williams and actor/comedian/blogger Chris Hardwick.
Front Row caught up with McEachern to learn how he approaches his new job and social media.
How has Twitter changed the way you do your job?
I’m very conscious of what I’m tweeting, because I know I’m representing the network and all the good people I work with. It’s an extension of our on-air business. I know what I’m saying will have an impression on people. It’s also direct contact with fans, which you don’t have when you are on TV. It helps me feel like what I’m doing on-air is real and has an impact on people. It’s a nice bridge between us and the folks out there who are watching.
Who is your favorite person or account to follow?
I follow people for professional and personal reasons. I keep track of all the main bowling guys to find out where their heads are ahead competitions. Some of my personal follows are @HenriLeChatNoir, and guys like @ConanOBrien and @StephenAtHome [Stephen Colbert]. Of course, I have to follow my San Francisco Giants and San Jose Sharks!
Give us a preview of our upcoming PBA League telecasts. continue reading…
posted by Tara Chozet on January 8, 2013 2:15 PM
J.A. Adande wears many hats at ESPN — he’s an ESPN.com senior writer, an Around the Horn panelist and sometimes host of Pardon the Interruption. Perhaps not as well known is that Adande has another title to his name: educator. Since 2004, Adande has taught at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He serves as an adjunct professor, teaching Sports Commentary to undergraduate and graduate students (including this Front Row contributor).
An alumnus of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Adande brings lessons from his own schooling and his experience at ESPN to his students, even running them through mock PTI and ATH exercises to demonstrate that being on camera isn’t as easy as he and his co-panelists make it look.
Front Row recently sat down with Adande to talk with him about his experiences in the classroom, his thoughts on education and how ESPN factors into his lessons.
posted by Tara Chozet on June 22, 2012 1:00 PM
ESPN soccer play-by-play commentators Adrian Healey and Fernando Palomo have been logging many hours preparing for and calling matches during Euro 2012. Healey, in English, and Palomo, in Spanish, each have their own styles. But whether it’s “Goal!” or “Gooool!!” both share the same passion for the game, even if their delivery methods are different. Front Row sat down with both announcers to discuss their techniques.
What commentators influenced you, and what did you take from their deliveries (if anything) to develop your own style?
Healey: Though I’ve spent most of my adult life in the U.S., my influences are from growing up in England in the 70s and 80s: Barry Davies and John Motson from BBC and Brian Moore of ITV. I took something from all of them and melded it into my own style. They had an incredible knack for adding to the sense of drama unfolding in any game and mirror the ebb and flow with their own commentary.
Palomo: I haven’t by design let myself be influenced by any particular voice, but they play a part in my delivery. Growing up, my mentors were local radio personalities and Americans like Al Michaels, Howard Cosell and Jim Lampley. The way they were able to transmit emotions without losing their elegant cadence is something I always try to imitate. This is not me being arrogant, but I didn’t want to copy anyone in Spanish, or let it influence anything I do.
Is there a call (aside from one of your own) that is particularly memorable to you? continue reading…
posted by Tara Chozet on April 20, 2011 2:00 PM
Editor’s note:In Spain, Real Madrid and Barcelona meet again Wednesday in the second installment of their dramatic rivalry in five days. Here’s how a U.S.-based viewing party unfolded.
QUEENS, N.Y. — April 16 marked the 240th Clásico match between Spain’s soccer titans, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
For those uninitiated into the passionate rivalries that burn in the world of soccer, this clash represents more than a game between two good teams; think Yankees-Red Sox with the weight of decades of political and ethnic strife, civil war and regional pride added.
Millions saw the action on the pitch from Saturday’s match, thanks to ESPN Deportes’ broadcast, and it was nothing short of exhilarating: Each team’s top players — Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi — scored; the coaches screamed; the fans sang and chanted. While the game ended in a 1 -1 draw, the scoring opportunities were numerous.
As the play unfolded on the screens in the bar, a flurry of activity also occurred behind the scenes. The game was ESPN Deportes’ “Super Bowl” for the year, and Deportes employees went all-out to make it feel like one.
Staff members from the Communications, Marketing, Sales and Production departments pulled together to throw a viewing party for the public and select VIPs at The Garden at StudioSquare in the heart of Queens. continue reading…