SBD/March 5, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Minding My Business With Time Warner Cable Sports VP/Content Larry Meyers



Meyers says he battles his college-aged children in Words With Friends
In October '11, LARRY MEYERS was employee No. 12 at a network with no name, no logo, no building and no office. But taking the job as Time Warner Cable Sports VP/Content & Exec Producer was not an unfamiliar situation for Meyers, as he had spent the past decade building Tennis Channel from the ground up. The gig also meant a return to the L.A. sports scene, where he learned the ropes of the TV industry from the inside of a production truck. "I walked into the early days of my career working on games as a crew guy in the Showtime era of the Lakers," he recalled. "I was in the truck directing live for what turned out to be MAGIC JOHNSON's announcement." Last week, Meyers helped TWC launch its third L.A.-based RSN in the last two years, as SportsNet LA went live. Here, he chats with THE DAILY about the benefits of starting in the trenches, how he was taught to get the most out of every broadcast, and where to find the best bites in West L.A.

Best advice...
Very early on, (Fox Sports Director) BILL WEBB was probably considered the best and one of the most high-profile baseball directors in the country. I started off out of college working on games as a crew guy at Dodger Stadium. The Mets came to town and Bill was directing. He said, "I will go in every day knowing that I can get 100 percent out of every crew and every technical environment that I go into. You have to go in and assess your situation and understand that there is a particular 100 percent out of that situation." It's about going in everyday, and knowing you maximized the environment that you walked into.

Climbing the ladder...
I've been lucky to have a career that allowed me to start inside the trucks at the most basic level, and experience everything it takes to create sports on television in such a way that’s led to a management career that I think was made better because of it. In some ways, I feel a certain kinship to the guys in the truck because I had such a rewarding experience working in the truck as a producer and a director.

Day in the life...
Time Warner Cable SportsNet is an RSN in every way that we understand RSNs, but SportsNet LA is to some degree more analogous to say YES or -- in a non-baseball way -- MSG. From a television perspective, being able to utilize and capitalize on the technical and physical structure that we put together for the first launches and a lot of common personnel and management with the addition of a lot of new personnel, it definitely made it easier. Our job was to work very closely with the Dodgers to put the network together for them.

Wake up, get out of bed...
I get up in the morning and I'm looking at my social media. I'm doing a Twitter scan, taking a look at my e-mail, and I'll listen to some music. I'm consuming Pandora and listening to my little personal mix on my way to work in the morning.

Talking tech...
In the earlier days, there was such a wide gap between the level of national production and the level of regional production, that you couldn't come close. You didn't have the tools, you didn't have the assets and the resources to produce a game at the level that a national entity, a national rights holder would have. Now, there is no difference now between a regional sports production in terms of the number of cameras, the quality of the cameras, the use of the best new tools in the business.

Good eats...
People who live on the West Side like to say, "You can try to spend your entire life staying west of the 405 if you can help it." I spend a lot of time in that part of the city. There's a couple of restaurants in town that we like a lot. There's a restaurant on Wilshire called The Wilshire, and The Farmers Market in West L.A. is a hot spot for us on the weekend.

How I unwind...
I’ll take a little bit of leisure time in the morning or the evening when I’m sitting at home and play Words With Friends with my college-aged kids. We watch a lot of movies, and we just got done with the new season of "HOMELAND." I'm generally trying not to watch the Food Network shows my wife is watching when I get home, but sometimes I get sucked in.

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