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Volume 25 No. 199
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Weekend Plans With CBS “NFL Today” Producer Drew Kaliski

Prior to joining CBS Sports Network, Kaliski served as Senior Producer at NFL Network from '07-12
Photo: CBS

CBS is home to next month's Super Bowl LIII, and these next couple weeks represent a chance for "NFL Today" Producer DREW KALISKI's team to fine tune its playbook for the Feb. 3 game. This weekend, the net will bring Sunday's Chargers-Patriots AFC Divisional matchup to viewers at 1:05pm ET, with "NFL Today" going an hour earlier. Kaliski spent this past week mapping out his team's preparation and eventual coverage for the battle between TOM BRADY and PHILIP RIVERS. Kaliski spoke to THE DAILY ahead of the game to touch on how the broadcast comes together and what viewers can expect for the divisional round and beyond. 

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: By Thursday I have my format in place for our show, while still maintaining the ability to make changes as news breaks. Friday is fine-tuning everything where we begin our edits for Sunday’s show. I have several producers working on various pieces where that editing will begin. Then I have a 2:00pm ET conference call with all the talent. We get on the phone for about an hour and go over the show in that environment. Really we’re running through what I’m thinking, make sure we’re all on the same page and obviously hear what they’re thinking about certain aspects of the game -- whether it’s a strategy, a feature segment or opinions on the respective game plan. We talk as a group to make sure we’re not stepping on each other’s toes come Sunday. We work through that, and our set is open on Friday as well. So we rehearse our cameras and make sure everything is looking good and in place. 

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: Saturday I’ll spend the morning with my three children, I’ll try to catch a game with them or whatever they have going on before I head into N.Y. around noon. Then I’ll put the finishing touches on all of our pieces and look at everything that’s being done for the show. We have a meeting late in the day with the production team, and we also do another conference call Saturday night with all the producers. It’s a lot slower this week because we only have one game this weekend, but it still takes me to about maybe 8:00pm that night. Then I usually get home and try to get to bed as early as I can for Sunday. I usually have a really early morning where I’ll get to the studios about 5:30am to get everything setup. We then have a talent meeting at 8:00am, then we start rehearsing at 10:00. On the air at noon, then the show’s over at 1:00. During the regular season we gear up for updates and halftime. It’s a little different this week with only one game as we obviously won’t be in update mode. So when we finish we dig into the game, and talent will give me ideas for their halftime packages. So it’s a little less intense in terms of the rapid fire updates we provide in the regular season.

RECIPE FOR SUCCESS: It basically is a Thursday-Sunday type of intensity. Thursday you get the rundown in place, Friday you get all the talent on board with the plan, then Saturday you make your rounds in the edit rooms and make sure your pieces look the way you want them too. Then Sunday is the show. Monday you look back on what was and try to get better the next week. You’re always taking ideas. Tuesday and Wednesday I’ll have individual calls with the talent to see what they’re thinking. 

IN THE MEANTIMEI’m a Rams fan, as I grew up an all-things-L.A. fan as a kid (Dodgers, Lakers and Rams). I love coaching Little League baseball in the spring, I have two sons and a daughter who are all active in different sports and activities, so in the offseason I really just try to enjoy those with them as much as I can, whether it’s baseball, basketball or dance.

Know of someone who should be featured in Weekend Plans? Shoot a note over to tleary@sportsbusinessdaily.com.