Working At TSN With Senior Highlight Manager Scott Hart
Tell us about your role as the Senior Highlight Manager at TSN.
As the Senior Highlight Manager at TSN, I wear a number of hats. I oversee the staff in the Sportscentre newsroom. Also, I am the entry-level hiring manager for jobs that have to do with breaking into the business, getting a job at TSN.
I mentor the interns working at TSN as well.
I have plenty being lucky enough to work in this business for 17 years. I am also a professor at two colleges with media programs. Teaching has been a great tool for me because I’ve been able to watch people who’ve come up and have students come up to me and say, “hey I’d love to come to TSN.” It’s great for me to analyze up and comers, who could potentially work at TSN. I am able to look at how they conduct themselves, punctuality, consistency, work ethic, etc.
Now back to what I do at TSN. A lot of times I’m long term scheduling and planning our events but working with our Sportscentre anchors.
It’s a lot to it but I mean I’ve been doing it now for the last six years and like I said the role has evolved quite a bit. I deal with many different departments at TSN, which is great and makes my role a lot of fun.
My day-to-day schedule depends on the time of the year. When we have a new intern crop starting, my role focuses more on them. Obviously it can be quite overwhelming coming into a big place like TSN. So, I’ll check in on them quite a bit to ensure they are handling everything okay.
Mixed with managing our interns, I’ll review events on tap against ensuring the anchors and staff are in place. Any given day, there are multiple meeting.
But again, the really depends on what’s going on in the sports world. whether: curling and tennis major properties for us. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Trade Centre, which happens at the end
Obviously, the trade deadline in the NHL is a massive day for us at TSN. We have TSN TradeCentre, with wall-to-wall coverage of all the trades and analysis of NHL Trade Deadline. So, we’re on the air around 8 o ‘clock in the morning and we’re on all day!
You manage interns regularly at TSN. You must go back to this quite a bit. Take us through the realization that sport was something YOU wanted to work in.
I was always heavily involved in sports growing up. My brother and I played everything from hockey, to soccer, to baseball, to tennis. I was always very much a sports fan and I knew I wanted to do this for a career at a very young age. I probably knew when I was 12 or 13 years old that I wanted to be in broadcasting. It was just something I gravitated towards.
It’s funny, I remember we’d be playing road hockey and I’d be calling the game as we’d be doing it. It was just instinct for me. I knew I was doing that and maybe because at an elementary school and the beginning of high school I was really in to, I did a lot of the announcements for the school.
Since I was young, I’ve been very comfortable with public speaking. So, combining my communications with my love of sports made a lot of sense for my career. And I feel very fortunate that wanting to do something at such a young age that I’m getting to do it now, 30 years later.
What were some of the biggest surprises for you when you began working at TSN?
I think one of the biggest surprises for me that come with the industry is almost that for me has just come to expect the unexpected.
It’s one of those businesses where it’s always changing.
When I started at TSN in 2002, the entry-level job at TSN was a story editor. This involved writing highlight packs, watching games, picking out highlights. The way the role is done has changed so much since then with the advancement of technology.
There’s a lot of things that haven’t changed about the role though. Good old fashioned hard work and putting the effort in, the attitude, that’s stuff that will always stick around!
Sometimes, I go into the newsroom now and I’m like, “I need a tutorial on all this because I can’t even really keep up with it!” [laughs]
At TSN, we are constantly evolving and I’ve been fortunate to see it first-hand.
So would you say that no amount of school could possibly prepare you what you would actually learn while on the job at TSN?
To be quite honest, school can kind of prepare you for a lot of the knowledge needed for many of the jobs at TSN.
But nothing prepares you for some of the soft skills required to work in this industry, and at TSN specifically.
How doy you separate yourself from being a good employee to a great one?
A lot of that really comes down to the desire and the attitude and the “wanting it” factor.
I hear aspiring sport professionals, and even some that come to intern at TSN say, “Oh I really want this and I’m going to put the work in.”
But the reality is that not everybody’s willing to do it. I’ve seen a lot of people evolve into great careers who began as interns here at TSN. There’s a common theme in their success. They’ve always had the desire to be accommodating and want it!
Sure, it’s a really cool business and working at TSN is incredible. But the hours can be grueling. You’re working late nights, you’re working weekends. And this is especially true when you’re starting up in the industry. For me, I was in this mode for over 12 years to begin.
There’s going to be social events you’re going to miss with your family and friends. You kind of have to put your family and friends on the back burner a little bit at times because you’re expected to work. But as long as you know you want it, it’ll all be worth it in the end.
I always knew TSN was where I wanted to be and many years later I am thrilled at where I am. Sure from time to time you get frustrated or disappointed you are missing out on something in your personal life, but because I knew I wanted to be where I was at TSN.
What school isn’t going to prepare you for is just the hustle and the desire to want it.
Nothing can prepare you for that. You can have all the skills in here, I can be really good on-air, I could be really good as an editor, but if my head is not in the right space as far as wanting to go and sort of achieving what I’m looking for, it’s not going to matter.
So would you say that skill or drive is more important in finding a successful career path at TSN and in sport media?
That’s a good question and it’s a tough question because I could make arguments for both.
But I really feel like drive, openness and the ability to learn is MASSIVE.
A lot of the technical skills, we can teach you at TSN and it will come with experience. For example, I can show you how to sub-clip and put together a highlights package for TSN. I can also show you how to take your highlight pack to the next level and tell a good story.
A lot of that comes from sure there might be a skill involved in that but a lot of it comes from your openness and your attitude to constructive criticism, learning, coaching, and mentoring.
I’ve seen people at TSN who have all the skill in the world and the talent but the head on their shoulders just wasn’t in the right spot and it just didn’t end up working out for them.
If you can combine both skill and drive with an openness to being mentored and learning, that’s going to allow you to take the next step, particular here at TSN.
I tell people you come here and that are certain things you want to do when you come into TSN, you may want to be air or you may want to do something specific.
But my advice to people is NEVER say no to an opportunity because it’s a foot in the door.
And now your foot’s in the door, who knows what happens from there.
Last question. If you could have any superpower that would help you in your career at TSN, what would it be?
Well if I was talking as candidly as possible, maybe I’d have the ability to fly so that I could just avoid the traffic every morning going to work!
I guess if I would have anything it would be, given my role, maybe strong>speed. Just so I could as many things are done as possible!
Like The Flash.
Somebody who’s that quick and that fast, that way I would be able to get everything done and just take care of everything I can within a given day.
But I should note, it’s not about rushing through things!
I think sometimes it’s just about trying to work ahead as much as possible and obviously I pride myself on an organization. You have to be in my role, you’ve got to be buttoned down on everything. If I was able to have that would make everything certainly easier on some days for sure.