BY ANTHONY ANDREOLI
Gabby Kiger was working for ABC as a production assistant when she received a call from Kyle Doty, an employee at ESPN, who was soon to be her new boss. Kiger had interviewed for a job at ESPN eight days earlier.
Doty called Kiger to follow up on some things and, during the conversation, Doty told Kiger pending the paperwork and formalities with human relations, Kiger was hired.
“So you’re saying it’s OK for me to run around screaming?” asked Kiger in shock and excitement.
Doty told Kiger, “Yes, by all means.”
Kiger was ecstatic after she got off the phone with her new boss. Doty hired Kiger because he was impressed with her qualifications based on her involvement in school, academic internships and previous position she held after graduation at ABC News.
Kiger, 22, was born in Orlando and has lived in Vero Beach for the most of her life. She is a lifelong Florida Panthers fan. She enjoys the other major sports too, but hockey is her favorite.
“If the Panthers ever won the Stanley Cup, I’d probably faint, or have a heart attack, or hospitalization of some sort would be involved,” said Kiger.
Kiger went to Seton Hall University and majored in journalism with a minor in broadcasting and visual media.
“I picked journalism because writing has always been one of my strengths,” said Kiger. “I knew I wanted to work in the sports broadcasting industry, so I figured it would be a good route to take.”
Kiger now works in Bristol, Conn., at ESPN Headquarters as a production assistant for what’s called Content Integration.
“Our group handles the on- and off-air traffic for all live events (excluding studio shows) for the domestic and international ESPN networks,” said Kiger.
The group is also responsible for running program alerts on the ESPN Bottom Line to alert the viewers to schedule changes and to navigate them to the correct network.
Working at ESPN has its positives and negatives, Kiger says. She likes the energy and atmosphere around ESPN the most and the chaos that comes with reporting sports the least.
“As much as you want to prepare yourself for a number of scenarios, something different can happen with a live event every time,” said Kiger.
In her three months at ESPN, the most memorable moment has been the Penn State scandal.
“I was working on the first two days the news broke, and I was the one who made the decision of whether or not we should air the live press conference with Joe Paterno later in the day,” said Kiger.
The press conference later fell through at the last minute. Kiger’s group had to deal with all of the breaking news that kept coming out throughout the week.
Kiger eventually wants to work on camera, but for now she loves what she does behind the scenes.
“I’m surrounded by TVs and can pretty much watch ESPN all day,” she says. “It’s what I’m getting paid for!”