Sharon van Zwieten
Senior Executive Producer of News, Univision Deportes
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/4/2012 12:01:00 AM
Getting that launch off to a successful start meant overseeing everything from hiring anchors Claudia Trejos, Alejandro Berry, Antoinette Collins and Jorge Calvo to rebuilding Univision Deportes’ studio from the ground up.
“The Univision Deportes brand is so uniquely positioned to capture the Hispanic sports audience,” says van Zwieten, who joined Univision in Miami after spending five years as senior executive producer of news for ESPN Star Sports in Singapore. “Univision’s reach goes far and deep for both the Spanish-language audience and for English-speaking people who want our content on TV, mobile, tablet or online. To have achieved what we’ve achieved in such a short time with such a high quality look and feel is thrilling.”
During her busy year, van Zwieten also revamped Contacto Deportivo, TeleFutura’s sports program. “Launching a network is an interesting project because you have so many moving parts and they require constant prioritization,” says David Neal, senior VP and executive producer for Univision Deportes. “Sharon is able to filter through things and prioritize them with remarkable clarity. She has unshakable integrity as a leader, journalist and manager.”
Premiering and producing a sports program in a language other than the one native to you is daunting enough, but van Zwieten is not one to shrink from a challenge. When her family moved to Singapore in 2006, she could have sought a job at CNBC, where she had worked previously and where years of executive producing at CNN would have made her a perfect fit, but she instead chose to approach ESPN.
“I’m always up for a challenge and pushing myself out of the comfort zone,” she says.
While at ESPN Star Sports, van Zwieten developed and launched ESPNews, a 24-hour pan-regional cable network; SportsCenter Malaysia; and Score Tonight, a pan-Asian sports show. All of that experience set her up perfectly for her current position.
“Sports is the original breaking news,” she says. “What’s interesting about sports that’s different from news is that for some people, news is background music, but most sports fans consume their games with a laser focus. You have to take sports just as seriously.”
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