CBS executive emphasizes importance of team, organization in fast-changing industry. Harold Bryant found himself navigating the emerging industry of sports news as he began his career more than three decades ago, starting as a news and sports production assistant for New York Mets home games for WWOR-TV and paying his dues at start-ups before working his way up the ranks in network television.
Today, as executive producer and senior vice president for product at CBS Sports, Bryant oversees some of the industry’s biggest sporting events - a job that demands intense team coordination and planning.
Speaking to students at the Feliciano School Business for the 2018-2019 MBA Executive Speaker Series, Bryant shared insights on finding opportunity and success in the dynamic and high-pressure world of sports television.
While streaming devices and DVRs have dramatically changed how and when consumers watch programs, sports events remain live viewing events and a key pillar of CBS, Bryant said. “You have to tune into it as it’s happening, it’s not a show that you time-shift,” he said. Collaboration across employee groups is crucial, said Bryant, a 28-time Emmy Award winner.
“I don’t take credit, my business is a team,” he said. “We have to work together as a team.”
Keeping everyone focused on every detail is especially important when planning a live television broadcast.
“We don’t just show up at the Super Bowl and put some cameras up,” he said.
In such high-pressure environments, Bryan said recognition of good work is key to motivating employees, adding “when someone is doing a good job, you have to let them know.”
Bryant has adapted to many industry changes throughout his career. Some, like the shift from analog to digital filming, have made it easier for producers to find stored media quickly, making it “much easier to help us tell a story.”
Other changes, such as social media, require a whole new layer of planning and opportunity.
“You can interact, advocate and engage all while watching,” Bryant said.
For more information on the Feliciano School of Business MBA program, please visit business.montclair.edu/mba.