Golf Channel's Molly Solomon Discusses "Morning Drive" Revamp
Golf Channel tomorrow will unveil a new studio and format for its “Morning Drive” show. The 7:00-9:00am ET program also will expand to seven days a week. The show’s newly-dedicated studio features four unique sets -- a main anchor desk, an interview area, a product demonstration area and a news update desk. GC Exec Producer Molly Solomon took some time to discuss the show’s big changes.
Q: What is the strategy behind the new look and direction of the show?
Solomon: Most golfers watch and play the game on weekends so we wanted to be there for them seven days a week. When you think about golf, you want country clubs and golf clubs to have "Morning Drive" on in the pro shops and the locker rooms seven days a week and they’re busiest on Saturdays and Sundays. … We also want to make smart TV. “Morning Drive” is very influential and popular within the golf industry. Players ask to come by because they know they’re going to get a fair interview. Same thing with a lot of influential power brokers in the industry. They watch, they listen and they communicate with us, so it’s really become a place where they know they can come and talk about their organizations.
Solomon: Some of the popular features like front nine and back nine will stay the same. Our viewers also want to know the weather and what the weather is going to be like on the pro tours. The CNBC Business Watch also ties in well to the demographics that are watching so those foundational elements will definitely remain. The bigger studio and the larger ensemble give us really smart discussion and compelling debate which is going to be a big part of the show. This show needs to be free flowing. We want longer segments. We want compelling debate.
Q: What will the weekend broadcasts bring to the show?
Solomon: When we come on Thursday through Sunday there’s a PGA Tour event or an LPGA event or we may be tagging a live European Tour event. So it’s really the first pregame show of the day. … We’ve also been brainstorming some new segments. We want to tell you where the best seat in the house is, what’s significant about this course.
Q: Will there be more audience interaction?
Solomon: Annika (Sörenstam) is going to continue to be in on Tuesdays for audience interaction. We’re going to do travel segments with (Golf Digest Senior Travel Editor) Matt Ginella and he’s going to be taking questions on Twitter and answering questions about different subjects, so we definitely want to bring the viewers into the show.