Sky Sports News is known as the best place for football updates. Here’s what it was
like behind the scenes in January 2013 on one of the busiest days in the football
calendar, Transfer Deadline Day.
Jim White and Natalie Sawyer are the presenters on Transfer Deadline Day. They reveal
all the latest news as and when it happens live on television. They introduce reporters
who are at locations all around the country and ask all the questions which the viewers
are all desperate to know the answers to. They constantly update viewers on the day’s
events and keep an eye on the clock at all times. It wouldn’t be quite the same without
Bryan Swanson is also based in the Sky Sports studio on Transfer Deadline Day. He
presents all the latest transfer news on a 65” iPad which is located alongside Jim
White and Natalie Sawyer. The giant iPad is loaded with information on each club
and looks at the various players that have been linked with them. It also shows which
players have left the club in the window as well as how much has been spent.
David Craig is a location reporter on Deadline Day at Sky Sports News. He is based
in the North-East meaning that he’s responsible for Scottish Clubs as well as some
English ones, for example Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Darlington. He
tends to be up at 4am and usually meets the camera crew at a Premiership Training
Ground. David reports on any last-minute business taking place at these clubs and
is often joined by a bunch of rowdy supporters.
Ben Bregman is one of the many cameramen working for Sky Sports News. He doesn’t
always know where he’ll be on Deadline Day, however often expects a double shift.
Ben often works with Gary Cotterill and sets his alarm for 4am. He spends the day
waiting outside training grounds in order to catch new signings coming and going
and looks to grab interviews with various managers. It certainly seems to be a long
and stressful day!
Mikey Burrows works on the Sky Sports News radio as a presenter, often accompanied
by Dave Reed. Shifts on Transfer Deadline Day can be over eight hours long and Mikey
is constantly receiving updates from the studio. Expert analysis is provided by ex-professionals
and former managers meaning you can get the best information of your club’s new signings.
All of the twists and turns on Transfer Deadline Day can be heard via Mikey.
Peter O’Rourke edits the Sky Sports website. On Transfer Deadline Day this can be
an extremely tiring job as signing after signing comes in. He keeps on working up
until the 11pm deadline and most of the day is spent on the phone to agents or any
other reliable sources regarding the rumours that have been spreading. Peter is also
in regular contact with his colleagues at Sky Sports News to get the quickest updates
Nick Seymour is the news editor. This means that he is in charge of where to send
reporters and what they do. On the day before Deadline Day Nick will decide what
reporters cover and will continue to work all throughout the day itself. He spends
the day chasing transfer stories and moving the cameramen and reporters around. If
he understands that a player is at a hospital having a medical, then it is crucial
he arranges for a reporter to be there in order to interview them. It certainly is
a stressful job.
Gemma Davies is a live producer on Sky Sports News. She coordinates a lot of the
live reporters that are out with live satellite trucks throughout the day (this can
be as many as eight). Gemma lets the reporters know what time they are needed and
what they should update on when the studio crosses to them live. Furthermore, Gemma
is also the first to be notified by a reporter when a new deal looks imminent at
a big club.
Aisha Hughton works in planning. Since she has been a planner for five years, she
has built up various contacts such as managers, agents and players. She sets up the
interviews that are on Sky Sports News and is often the very first to know about
a new deal. For example, when Jermain Defoe moved to Portsmouth, he called up Aisha
and she was able to organise a cameraman to get to the ground and see him arrive.
No-one else was aware of this deal meaning Aisha was able to break the news.
Zoe Uminski is the touchscreen producer meaning that she works closely with Bryan
Swanson (who operates the giant iPad). She describes Transfer Deadline Day as “fast-moving”
and “high stress”, however claims that “there’s always a buzz in the newsroom”. Zoe
ensures that the big stories are illustrated in the best and most attractive way
on the giant iPad so that the reporters can present it in an entertaining fashion.
Andy Thompson is the Sky Sports News Digital Media Corresponant. This is one of the
busiest jobs since he must spread a breaking story to the likes of the mobile site,
the iPad app, radio station and text service. He sits close to the news desk in the
Sky Sports News Studio and next to the production team. When Sky Sports get the go
ahead to publish a story, it is Andy’s job to coordinate the breaking news across
all of the platforms, something that can be very demanding.
Mel Bartlett is the director, arguably the most important job to have! She pulls
everything together, whether it’s editorial or technical and must be in regular contact
with the presenters, the cameramen, the vision mixers and those in charge of the
lighting. It’s a busy time any day of the year, let alone Transfer Deadline Day so
it is crucial that Mel is on top of proceedings! All areas must be coordinated and
she stresses that “teamwork” is crucial!
Jason Landau is the design director. He and his team have designed the transfer window
brand (which has been yellow and black since January 2013). The designs that Jason
comes up with are seen everywhere, from side panels, to the giant iPad and even in
front of the two presenters. Designs for a January Deadline Day can start back in
August, which just goes to show how much preparation and work goes into it. Finally,
Jason has to ensure that all player imagery is up-to-date, giving the viewers a clearer
idea of exactly who is on the move.