SBD/October 23, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Minding My Business With CBS Sports VP/Remote Production Steve Karasik



Karasik with his wife, Ilyssa, at this year's U.S. Open Championships
As a 16-time Emmy Award winner, CBS Sports VP/Remote Production STEVE KARASIK has just about seen it all when it comes to sports television. He oversees remote production of events like the Super Bowl, The Masters and tennis' U.S. Open. But Karasik loves nothing more than working the second round of the NCAA Tournament. "For a hoops junkie, there’s really nothing better than that," he said. The N.Y. resident recently spoke with THE DAILY about his most difficult sport to produce, which basketball analyst is known as "The Mayor," and his passion for '80s rap music.

Most of my time at work is spent thinking about...

Making sure that our talent is comfortable, that our producers and directors are comfortable, that they have the tools they need to make a successful broadcast. We’ll have five, six, or seven games on a typical NFL Sunday. So I’ll be in the studio being able to see all our different games and all our different production people out there. Game productions are sort of like the ultimate reality show in that you can do all the preparation you want for a game on a given day, but something surprising can happen that you didn't prepare for and you have to react to that. A great example is KEVIN WARE’s injury in the NCAA Tournament this year. At that point, our production team had to decide immediately -- with such a gruesome injury -- how we were going to cover this.

Most difficult sport to produce...
Golf can definitely be the most challenging. In football or basketball or any other team sport, there’s one ball and everything is focused on what’s going on with that ball. Golf is different in that there are balls all over the golf course and there are multiple shots happening simultaneously.

Current player to keep an eye on as a TV analyst...
I think every network on the board would have their eye on PEYTON MANNING. I think anyone would say he is the crème de la crème. He has the resumé -- he's one of the greatest quarterbacks ever but you see him in the commercials, sometimes he’s on an entertainment show. He has a great sense of humor; he’s able to laugh at himself but he gets television. He was at a Tennessee football game we did and he went on with GARY DANIELSON and VERNE LUNDQUIST and he was spectacular, you could've listened to him all game. There’s an easy way about him, even though he’s an intense competitor on the field. He has that sort of southern easiness about him and that sense of humor that makes him ideal for television.

Favorite announcer to work with...
I don't want to single anyone out, I enjoy working with all of them. Anyone in sports television will tell you what a great guy BILL RAFTERY is. Everyone calls him "The Mayor" because every time you go out with him, you can be in New York, Chicago or Boston, and he always has people everywhere. He’s loved everywhere he goes whether it’s by coaches, players or schools. Going to dinner with Raft in a college town is a great experience that I think anyone that works with him looks forward to and always has fond memories of.

Technology that has made my working life easier...
Probably Vimeo. It’s sort of like YouTube, it’s a website where you can post video clips to. Although my office is right across the street from our studio, it used to be that if I wanted to see what an opening tease looked like for a football game we were doing, I would have to get out of my office, go across the street and look at stuff. Now, instantly with these Vimeo clips, I can look at a variety of things almost instantaneously.

Best bites in the Big Apple...
J.G. Melons: it’s been around for almost 100 years and this is the best burger in New York. There’s always a wait, but I go with my buddies every once in a while and it’s a good place to unwind. It’s in my neighborhood, and whether it’s the middle of the winter or summer, the place is always packed. It’s worth the wait though.

Music on the go...
I’m kind of an old-school hip hop guy. I like classic rap like A TRIBE CALLED QUEST, BEASTIE BOYS, that’s music I liked in my youth and I continue to listen to it. Also I grew up with classic rock, so THE BEATLES, LED ZEPPELIN, ROLLING STONES. It’s sort of weird to mix the two, but that’s what I like.
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