Brad Zager

Producer, FSN Prime Ticket

Second-Favorite City:
Chicago. There is great baseball tradition

Postgame Cuisine: Deep-fried food is all we eat on the road: cheese, chicken,
vegetables


The Business Journal occasionally checks in with L.A. professionals and asks them to describe their day. This week, Brad Zager, FSN Prime Ticket game telecast producer for Los Angeles Dodgers baseball, discusses his routine.

I wake up by 8:30 a.m. By 10 a.m., I start reading news about baseball. On an average day, I read 50-60 articles every morning from different Web sites. I read newspaper articles and blogs that cover the Dodgers, baseball in general, and Web sites for the team that we are playing that night. I will spend a couple of hours reading articles from all over the country.

I started at Fox as an intern 12 years ago. This is my fifth year doing Dodger telecasts.

I get to the stadium by 1 p.m. for a 7 p.m. game. My job is to make sure that everything is going smoothly. I am a point person for everyone on site. I tell the crew what we have planned for the day.

At around 3:30 or 4 p.m., I will head into the stadium and meet with game announcer Vin Scully. We go over the lineups for both teams. We also make sure that we have updates on injured players. We go through the schedule to know when he will prerecord spots that we show during the game.

At around 5 p.m., we do preproduction. We record our telecast opening and items featuring our sponsors. The entire crew then takes a break for dinner until 6:15 p.m. We usually eat in the press box.

We have a pregame show at 6:30 and then we go live at 7 p.m. We know that certain commercial breaks have to be a certain length and we need to show various promotions for our sponsors, but the game has no script.

Weird stuff comes up and we really go to work to bring that home to the viewer while making split-second decisions.

For example, an umpire was hurt after getting hit in the face by a pitch. We had to react and tell the story of what was happening in a live broadcast.

It's a fun job for a guy who grew up loving baseball. It's a boyhood dream come true.

Games could last two hours or five hours. I've been in the truck for nine innings and 18 innings. We transition to the postgame "Dodgers Live" crew when the game ends and I go home, which could be at 9 p.m. or 1 a.m.

When I get home, I rewatch about 90 percent of the game either that night or the next morning. The next morning, we get feedback from the bosses about the broadcast. They are always challenging us to do a better job for Dodger fans.

I will usually get to sleep by 1:30 a.m. It's like "Groundhog Day" because we do the same thing the next day.

We travel to road games as well, but we do not do any playoff games; the networks have the playoff rights. I take a little bit of time off in October and then work on Pac-10 basketball broadcasts before baseball season starts.

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