News Articles

Molly Solomon

Coordinating Producer, NBC Olympics & Talent Development, NBC Sports Group 7/11/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

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When Molly Solomon told a woman
from the International Olympic Committee
that she would be speaking during NBC’s
winning pitch to retain the Olympics, the IOC
rep was shocked. “We don’t get many women
who speak in this room,” Solomon, coordinating
producer for NBC Olympics, recalls her saying.

After the presentation, which resulted in NBC
wrapping up the U.S. rights to carry the next
four Olympics, the woman gave Solomon an
IOC scarf to express her admiration. To Solomon,
it was a reminder of the role she plays as
a top female executive in the male-dominated
world of sports. “You don’t even think there are
barriers, but sometimes there are,” she says.

Solomon has worked at NBC her entire career,
first hired as an Olympics researcher for the
1992 Games right after graduating from Georgetown
University. Former top NBC execs Dick
Ebersol and Jeff Zucker both started the same
way; 14 current or former Olympics researchers
are working on NBC’s 2012 coverage. “It’s kind
of like a fraternity,” Solomon says.

This year was Solomon’s first involvement in
an Olympics bidding process, as the last time
NBC bid, in 2003, she was in the hospital on
bed rest, expecting triplets. Solomon is thrilled
that NBC kept the Games, adding that the network’s
perceived underdog status inspired them
to fight even harder. “We really rallied as a team
in the weeks after Dick resigned,” she says.

Ebersol, who was her boss, mentor and
close friend for 21 years, gave Solomon her
first production job when he named her coordinating
producer for cable coverage in 1998;
at the time, she had never produced before.
“He gave me a new opportunity before I was
ever ready for it,” Solomon says of Ebersol.

In between Olympics years, Solomon remains
busy producing other sports like figure
skating as well as heading talent development
for NBC Sports Group, finding and training
commentators for Olympics sports like handball
and badminton. In 2012, Solomon will
expand her role to include producing NBC’s
Olympics primetime, including the opening
ceremonies. To prepare, she’ll travel to London
once a month for the next year.

The travel schedule is hard on her kids, but
she manages with help from her husband as
she balances the inherent conflicts of working
motherhood, embodied by a saying posted over
her desk: “Happiness is equilibrium. Shift your
weight,” by the playwright Tom Stoppard. “It’s
not fair to yourself if you think you can have it
all,” Solomon says. “Now I’ve come to a good
place where you have to identify what’s important
and seek that.”

 

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