Mary Carillo is the reason we watch Wimbledon Primetimeevery day at 4 p.m. on Tennis Channel.
As you may know, ESPN let her get away in 2010 during the US Open, no less. There are unconfirmed reports that the “philosophical differences” cited behind her ankling of that network had to do with the graphics-creep that can crowd so many screens. You can’t see the tennis court, but you can read those graphics from the parking lot, right? I should note that ESPN’s coverage of Wimbledon as I write this is conspicuously free of such graphics overkill. Some of the best sports cam and mic work in the world is being pulled off, in and around tennis this week in London. Maybe Carillo landed a point on her way out the door.
Whether her departure from ESPN was based on that trend or something else, she was and is Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon’s greatest catch.
The top star of the network — its investors’ list includes Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, the US Tennis Association, and IMG — Carillo confers a dimension of legitimacy on the outfit’s programming that’s almost impossible to get from anyone other than, say, her former tennis partner John McEnroe. (They won the 1977 French Open mixed-doubles.)
As an author, Carillo has collaborated three times: with Martina Navratilova onTennis My Way, with Rick Elstein on Tennis Kinetics, and with Paul Fein onTennis Confidential II: More of Today’s Greatest Players, Matches, and Controversies.
But it’s the sportswriter in her who shines during her tournament coverage. The Sports Emmy and at least two Peabody awards have come to her for documentary work, notably Dare To Compete: The Struggle For Women In Sports, which she wrote with Frank Deford of Sports Illustrated and NPR.
By Porter Anderson | @Porter_Anderson
Writing on the Ether: 10 Reasons We Love The Tennis Channel’s Mary Carillo
Originally published by Thought Catalog at www.ThoughtCatalog.com