The Producer: Marc Brady is the biggest name in Chicago sports TV you don’t know

 The Producer: Marc Brady is the biggest name in Chicago sports TV you don’t know

If you’ve been watching Chicago sports TV for a long time, you’ve no doubt – and probably don’t know – have seen and heard of Marc Brady’s work.

He is in his 30sth years in terms of production of game broadcasts. He has played games with the Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox. He has helped bring audiences to some of the most memorable moments in Chicago’s sports history. He currently makes Bulls games for NBC Sports Chicago.

However, you didn’t hear his voice. You can only hear his name in the closing credits.

But that is not entirely true. Even if Brady never talks to you, he talks to you through informants. Call him ghost-speaker, if you like.

Cubs fans at a certain age remember respected producer-director Arne Harris. Today, such compliments belong to Brady, who is respected, trusted and truly worshiped by peers.

“He’s like Zelig’s Chicago sports producers,” Bulls announcer Adam Amin said.

The producer is the boss of the “show.” That’s what broadcast producers call it. For them, it’s more than just a game.

“It was the original reality television,” said Brady, 51. “It was a show. And if it’s done right, it’s a complete presentation.

Brady said the game has always lent itself to the kind of show he does. When it comes out on the wire, it’s really drama. If it’s going to be a blowout, it’s something else.

“It’s time to inform and entertain the show man,” he said. “Someone was there who cared. There were people waiting all day for that game. My job is to take you out of the world you live in. Your world is here now. I have the opportunity to present that to you. ”

There is a distinct difference between the producer and the director, who chooses the images and the camera angle you see.

“The director is a man now; the producer is someone who plans, ”Brady said. “The director has to always act with the action, as I look for my place to get into. I set the tone; he had to do it. And if it works right, it’s something to put together a perfect dance.

Brady grew up in Hazel Crest watching the Cubs at WGN. Harry Caray has always made Harris the third member of the booth along with analyst Steve Stone. Brady didn’t understand Harris ’work at the time, but his interest in television production led him to learn. At Columbia College, he enjoyed making movies beyond their focus, and his first job in college was stage manager at SportsChannel in 1992.

He worked on White Sox games with “Hawk” Harrelson and Tom Paciorek and Bulls games with Tom Dore and “Red” Kerr. His job is to be the eyes on the field or floor for the production truck, telling the crew what to watch. He passed the papers to the announcers, asked them to talk and helped with whatever they needed.

After making pregame films with the Bulls with Norm Van Lier and Steve Kashul, Brady left in 1998 for WGN, where he worked with Harris and became a co -producer of games with the Bulls and Cubs. That job included working on statistics and graphics, which was a dream come true after years of looking at sports pages as a child, studying numbers whether they thought of him or not.

He was working May 6, 1998, when Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood tied the major-league record for strikeouts in a game with 20. Harris told Brady to go on the field and take Wood for an interview. The severity of the incident hit Brady when he tried to put an IFB in Wood’s ear.

“Our two hands were shaking so fast with nervousness,” Brady said. “That became my regular job, running the field and getting players after the big games. I got Sammy Sosa in Detroit when he was hit. [home run] No. 20 a month. ”

Eventually, Brady learned from Harris, whose habit of showing off his unique headdress to fans left an impression.

“People came to the game to wear hats for Arne to show them,” Brady said. “You pay for a ticket to get in, and you’re worried about whether Arne will show you. He has influenced more lives than you can imagine. ”

Harris died in 2001 at the age of 67. Brady became a producer for WGN’s Cubs in 2008, although he would also produce Blackhawks, Bulls and Sox broadcasts. When WGN lost all teams in 2019, NBC Sports Chicago came in to call for Brady, who wasn’t even looking for a job. He was tabbed on the network for its games with the Bulls.

It was a wise move considering Brady’s history on the team and the quality of his work, colored by his passion for the job. He writes most of the openings to hype the games, and he’s the creative force behind the graphic and interstitial elements that carry a player’s package.

Most importantly, Brady builds relationships with his teammates without doing anything. The crew has a group chat with ongoing conversation that can lead anywhere. Basketball has to come, and Amin said it’s easier to prepare for the game.

“The best crews I’ve worked with, including my football crew, are like that,” said Amin, who also works at Fox. “The crew who keep talking are the ones on the lock step.”

That’s important for the producer and voice play-by-play. Brady and Amin always talk to each other during games.

“That’s a relationship you have to make sure you’re good at,” Brady said. “I never told Stacey King that she didn’t know about basketball.”

Amin said: “You have to have a producer you trust, who knows the material, and you have to have someone to keep us at the table though. Brady encapsulates everything.

“The broadcast truck has to be a good oil engine. The engine of that has to be producer.”

Brady’s truck for the Bulls games includes director Russ Leonard and co -producer Tamra Anderson, both key to the operation. Brady will be switching trucks next month when he is briefly filled with Sox producer Chris Withers.

Even in his 30sth years, Brady is still thankful to be in the games and brought it to the audience.

“I’m a very lucky man, and I didn’t let it go,” he said. “I am very happy that I was allowed to enter people’s homes, even though most of them did not even know it.”

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