Former Raiders Chief Exec Trask Moves From The Board Room To Broadcast Studio
After 27 years of avoiding television cameras, former Raiders Chief Exec Amy Trask now finds herself embarking on a new career path where see will look directly into them. CBSSN last month announced a new Sunday morning program, “That Other Pregame Show,” and tapped Trask for its five-member studio panel. Trask caught up with THE DAILY this week and discussed her role on the show, what it means to be the first female front office exec to make the transition to TV and if she has plans on returning to the league.
Q: What kind of role does CBSSN have planned for you?
Trask: We will talk about on- and off-field issues, the X's and O's of football as well as the business operations. I’m going to chime in on whatever I wish to chime in on. One thing that was very intriguing to me and exciting about this is that the individuals with whom I spoke were very direct that I would not be cordoned off and kept only in an area relating to business or off-field issues. Certainly I’m not going to be the person best-suited to tell you whether the fourth-string guard for any given team is going to make the roster or not, but I have spent close to 30 years in football and will be able to chime in on whatever I would like to discuss.
Q: What kind of adjustment will it take for you in becoming a member of the media?
Trask: A seismic one. It will be a monumental adjustment. It’s one that is looming large for me right now. Having spent 27 years assiduously running away from cameras, it is not without irony that I’m now embarking on this new adventure in which I’ll voluntarily face the camera. But doing so with CBS and the talent amassed is really a privilege.
Q: How are you facing this challenge? Are you getting advice from other front office execs who have made the same transition?
Trask: I am very fortunate to know so many people throughout the sports industry -- some of whom have been on camera for many years -- some of whom have done less work, but some work. They have all been very generous about offering their advice and their thoughts on how I should proceed.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish for yourself in this role?
Trask: I don’t know that I could articulate that. This is a new adventure and I will determine whether this is something I enjoy doing. And I will determine -- as will CBS -- if this is something I’m able to do successfully.
Q: Was television something you thought about when you resigned from the Raiders in May?
Trask: It did not pop up on my radar -- that’s an understatement. When I resigned from the Raiders, I had absolutely no plan. I had absolutely no idea what I would do next. I really and truly did not have a thought in my mind about what my next adventure would be. I was contacted by a few people about television opportunities and my first response was, “That’s just nutty. I’m not going to go on television.” But when I spoke with a group of people at CBS, it was an exciting phone call.
Q: Will you handle discussions on the Raiders just as you would any other team?
Trask: That’s the plan. I certainly would hope I would approach my analysis of each team in the same manner -- which would be fair and forthright.
Q: You were somewhat of a pioneer in becoming one of the first female NFL front office execs and are following a similar path with television. What significance does that hold with you?
Trask: It has been my practice throughout my career to comport myself without regard to gender. My view has always been that if I don’t want other people to consider my gender to be a factor, then I should not consider my gender to be a factor. So it is a point that has been made to me repeatedly, but really, I have never focused on my gender. Certainly if there are young women who view this as an opportunity in the future, then that’s terrific and CBS deserves a tremendous amount of credit in that regard.
Q: How are you going about preparing for this? Have you met any challenges along the way?
Trask: We’re all navigating it right now because a challenge is that the show is broadcast live from New York and I’m based in California. So we’re navigating how I will do that preparation work with my colleagues when they’re 3,000 miles away and a three-hour time zone away. (Trask will appear live in N.Y. for approximately half the season and from a CBS studio in California for the other half.) Perhaps my biggest challenge will be getting CBS to move the studio to Malibu. I think too just battling my own trepidations about being on camera. I have a very patient husband -- he always keeps me grounded.
Q: Do you have any aspirations of getting back into the league eventually?
Trask: That’s not something I’m looking to do at this point. I would leave it at that right now. It’s certainly not something that I have considered to date, and I don’t know that I ever would consider that. But four months ago if you would have asked me if I would be willing to do television, I would have said you were nutty.