Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Trade San Diego For Bristol? Not Exactly.

ESPN has a new coordinating producer for baseball and boxing.

Nick Davis was hired away from Cox Communications, where he produced San Diego Padres broadcasts for Cox's Channel 4.

Davis' job switch resulted in this terrific write up from John Maffei of the (SD) North County Times:

He's the most-valuable person regular viewers of Channel 4 have never heard of

Working behind the scenes in the production truck, he's one of those men responsible for the station's network-quality Padres broadcasts.

But after 17 years in San Diego ---- 13 of those with Cox Communications, Channel 4's parent company ----- Nick Davis, coordinating producer for Padres baseball, is leaving to join ESPN.

"I love San Diego and I love Channel 4," Davis said. "And I'll stack our telecasts ----whether it's Padres, San Diego State, USD or the high school championships ---- up against anyone."I didn't want to leave, but ESPN pursued me. And it was an offer I just couldn't refuse."

Davis, who lives with his family in Rancho Penasquitos, will be the coordinating producer for Major League Baseball and boxing --- two sports he loves ---- for ESPN.

That requires a move to ESPN's Bristol, Conn., headquarters. But he's not going away completely.

"Are you kidding, who would leave San Diego?" Davis said. "I'll rent an apartment in Bristol, but we'll keep the home in San Diego."Part of the deal with ESPN is that I get home as often as possible. Whenever ESPN has a baseball game on the West Coast, I'll be home for two or three days before or after the game. So it's not like I'm leaving for good."

Davis was a receiver at Purdue in his college days, earning a B.A. in communications, graduating in 1983.

He moved to San Diego in 1991. In 1993, he landed a job as producer and director for programming at Dimension Cable Services in Vista.

He joined Cox Communications in 1995 when it merged with Dimension.

"There is no finer person than Nick Davis," said Dennis Morgigno, station manager at Channel 4 and the man who oversees the day-to-day operation. "This is a great deal for Nick, but we hate to lose him."He takes an awful lot of pride in his work, and it shows on the air. In a way, though, this says a lot about what we're doing. I've been saying for years that our production is on par with anyone in the country. So for ESPN to recognize Nick and what we're doing, is pretty good."

Davis said the people at ESPN are very familiar at what's going on at Channel 4."And they love it," Davis said. "I think that validates the quality of our local production, and the fact we put the same effort into everything we do."

At ESPN, Davis will have a hand in scheduling as well as working with the network's talent."My goal is to increase the presence of the West Coast baseball teams on ESPN, especially on Sunday nights," Davis said. "I want to make sure there is a West Coast presence. That's an exciting prospect."

"Still, I hate leaving Channel 4 because it has been a big part of my life. And there are so many talented people there."

"But the opportunity to work at ESPN, ABC and Disney and the long-term ramifications was just too good to pass up."

In working with ESPN's baseball announcers Davis will be reunited with Rick Sutcliffe who in addition to his ESPN gig, worked with Davis on Padres telecasts from 1997 - 2004.

You will no doubt recall a moment those two shared on May 10, 2006. Following a day of golf in San Diego with actor Bill Murray, a less than sober Sutcliffe paid a visit to announcers Matt Vasgersian and Mark Grant the Padres TV booth at Petco Field. Davis was producing in the truck as brodacasting infamy fell all around him.

The original YouTube clip from the telecast was removed at MLB's request. Thanks to thecuddmancometh for reposting the audio portion.

Rick Sutcliffe served a one game suspension from ESPN for his conduct.

Nick Davis probably doesn't have to serve notice so something like this won't happen on his watch at ESPN.

Then again, considering the cast of characters already in Bristol, maybe he does.


Anonymous said...

Good for you, Nick.
One of the better guys in the business gets rewarded.

charbs said...

Nick is a class act. I know I look forward to working with him in Chicago!