By Alec Matuszak
Arts & Entertainment Editor
Watching the National Football League is one of America’s favorite pastimes. The athleticism, competition and drama on display during an NFL game is at its peak, which is why the game continues to be so popular. Part of the success of an NFL game is how smooth the broadcast is on television. From the play-by-play announcer to the sideline reporter, NFL games are covered with precision. No stone is left unturned to ensure that the fans are experiencing everything that the game has to offer. Fred Gaudelli, an LIU Post alumnus turned producer, can be credited with some of that success.
Gaudelli graduated Post with a B.F.A., in communication and media studies in 1982. He chose to attend LIU Post because of his interest in the broadcasting program. “The gentleman who ran the [campus radio station] back then, Bill Mozer, ran it like a real station…Either you did what you were supposed to do, on time and professionally, or you were not getting on the air,” Gaudelli said. Growing up, Gaudelli admired veteran announcer Marv Albert and aspired to become an announcer, but he felt as though his voice was not up to par. Determined to make it in the sports industry, Gaudelli interned for a sports wrap-up program on an old channel five station known as Metro Media in New York City. It was there that Gaudelli realized he might have found his career path. “Once I did [the production] for that show, I kind of realized that it might be the better path for me than announcing”, Gaudelli said. Shortly after working a few production jobs, Gaudelli understood that in a production role, “his skill sets could really flourish.” “At that point of my life, pre-Internet, I had a really encyclopedic knowledge of sports. I saw where that knowledge could be used to shape a program,” he said. After graduating, Gaudelli worked for both ESPN and ABC until his departure for NBC in 2006. Producing Sunday Night Football for NBC, Gaudelli’s football knowledge and understanding of the importance of drama and storylines in sports gained him recognition and praise, as well as his mastery of controlling the production. Gaudelli focuses on certain minute details of the game, such as a particular matchup, between rookies and veterans.
According to the NBC Press Box website, Gaudelli has been producing NFL games for 27 seasons and has won 20 Emmy Awards for his production work. According to the website, Gaudelli is responsible for the yellow “first down” marker which indicates how far the player must run with the ball. Gaudelli is also responsible for several instant replays in which the camera catches a pivotal moment in the game, according to a 2012 Deadspin interview with Gaudelli.
In addition to his skills in capturing important moments, his attention to detail makes the announcer’s job easier. Gaudelli feeds information to announcers during the game with insights of what he sees, which can lead to the fans learning something that they were previously unaware of. Some fans may mistakenly believe that a producer’s job is simply camera work and cueing up replays but this is only a part of what is required for a successful broadcast. “Your main job [as a producer] is to make sure that the editorial content of the show is on point with the action on the field,” he said.
Gaudelli will speak on Thursday, April 20 at 12:30 p.m. in the Hillwood Cinema.