ESPN Visits Norwich Campus

ESPN, the worldwide leader in sportsWorldwide Leader in Sports Entertainment Comes Calling

On Monday, four members of ESPN's management team drove up from Bristol, Connecticut to meet with Communication students and get a sense of life at Norwich.

ESPN currently employs six Norwich alumni, including Josh Creighton, Matt Jason, Cosmo St. Jean, and Ronnel Daniels. ESPN managers are so impressed with the quality of these Norwich hires, they decided to make the rare visit to Northfield to pursue a recruiting program with the Communications Department.

"Visiting colleges is not something our management normally does. But in this case, we can sense this is a unique school with a solid program. Our visit today signals that we are onto something good here at Norwich and we want to expand the relationship," said
Gene Caputo, a Supervisor of Production Operations at ESPN.

The ESPN team was treated to lunch in the Mill--compliments of Prof. Bill Estill and a handful of his communication students--then escorted on a private tour of campus, the library, Kreitzberg Arena and the communications lab. The ESPN folks wanted to see first-hand what makes Norwich students unique.

Mr. Leo Fournier, a Manager of Production Operations, gave a recruiting presentation to twenty-five communications students. Fournier described the ESPN work environment as team oriented and deadline driven.

"We push our people pretty's demanding work, a lot of weekends, sometimes ten hour days. But the rewards are great. Our ratings are good, and the product we're putting out is high quality," Fournier said.

When asked why Norwich grads stand out in a crowd of 2,600 ESPN employees, the ESPN team all agreed that Norwich students are driven, excited, mature, disciplined and exhibit a strong work ethic. Norwich students leave with practical training, whereas students at the big communications schools like Emerson and Syracuse don't graduate with the same hands-on experience.

After twenty-six years in the sports news and entertainment business, ESPN continues to be a leader in cutting-edge communication technologies. Their corporate headquarters sits on 100 acres with 12 buildings, 27 satellite dishes, 2,000 television monitors and a state-of-the-art fitness gym. ESPN production operations function 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And they aren't just television--they are a multimedia powerhouse with seven domestic television networks, thirty international networks, ESPN radio,, ESPN Magazine, SportsTicker and other ESPN companies. ESPN is eighty percent owned by ABC, Inc., a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a twenty percent interest in ESPN.

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ESPN Expert's Tip

ESPN is all about telling stories about sports, and a good production editor knows what makes a great story. To get in the front door, students need to be able to show their storytelling talent in about one minute on a demo reel. A demo reel is a sample of material and projects students have worked on during the course of their studies. It should feature the students' best work. It's a teaser, really. Students want to get the viewer's attention, right away, in a few seconds.