Inspired by her love of cricket, Sky Sports’ head of production for football and boxing, Jennie Blackmore, has gone from climbing gantries with doughnuts for camera crew strapped to her arms, to the top of her game.
Her passion for cricket inadvertently led her to a career in sports broadcasting: “While at university, I had a job as a steward at Lord’s on match days, which required me to be on site from 7am. So I would sit in the stands, drinking my morning coffee while watching the set up by the TV crew, and instantly became fascinated by the process; envious that this was their full time job.”
Today, her love of sport combined with her role at Sky Sports keeps her coming back for more. She comments on what draws her to sports broadcasting: “The reactive nature of the job plus the thrill of a live event are amazing. You never lose touch with that no matter how many events you do. I still get blown away when we’re at a packed Wembley Stadium or an iconic, stunning venue like Augusta for The Masters; whether I’m there in person or watching the output at home knowing that it’s our teams’ hard work that is bringing it to our screens.”
When she left university with a degree in English Literature and Media, “my love of playing cricket inspired me to repeatedly hound the executive producer of Channel 4 cricket (Sunset+Vine) on the first day of every month, like clockwork”.
“With the production executive role and now my head of production role, I had to look at everything with a wider perspective. I was no longer immersed in just one sport or event at any one time; I had a whole team of people with varying roles to think about and multiple sports to take into consideration with every decision that was made. That mental switch took time to adapt to”
This determination worked in her favour, she says: “I’d send him my CV, a copy of my dissertation on, ‘The Language of Cricket Commentary in TV and Radio’ (which I’m sure he enjoyed immensely,) and a plea for any available role on his team. So that was where it all started. After seven months he called to ask me in for an interview and subsequently gave me the role of production secretary.”
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