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Professor Stacy Gitlin Wins Sports Emmy Award for her Work on the 2022 Winter Olympics

Posted in: School of Communication and Media News

A woman dressed professionally, standing and holding an Emmy trophy against a dark backdrop.

Stacy Gitlin, who is a Professor of Sports Media Production and the Faculty Advisor of the Red Hawk Sports Network, won a Sports Emmy Award for “Outstanding Live Special” for her work on the XXIV Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.

In addition to her role at Montclair, Professor Gitlin is a Freelance Video Producer for NBC Sports, which broadcasts the Games. During the Olympic Games that ran from Feb. 4 through Feb. 20, 2022, she was a Feature Producer and part of a team that worked on the ground in China and from NBC’s offices in Stamford, CT.

Working on live sports programming for 17 days at odd hours-especially given the time zone difference- is inherently challenging. “What I am proud of is our ability to continue to make the Olympics feel exciting over a long period of time,” Gitlin said. “It’s our job to keep the viewer engaged. Competition can get stale after four hours, so we produce small features around the live events.”

But even producing small, short features is an art form. “Some of my favorite features are fancy-looking montages, which are not hard to do but are very time consuming.  I go through hours of footage and find a theme amongst them, whether it’s happiness, sadness, exhaustion, surprise or athletes yelling-anything that can translate to a story of the games. Then I spend what feels like a lifetime selecting the perfect music track to pair with that emotion and when it all comes together, it’s something that changes a show. When a simple 30-second piece I create brings tears, smiles or a small moment of intrigue to the viewer, I know I’m doing my job right.”

Making the award even more satisfying for Gitlin and the team she was part of was the remote nature of the work, something broadcast teams have tried to perfect after decades of “on-the-ground” production. “Well before the pandemic shut down productions, companies were keeping most of their staff on large scale international productions at their home bases,” she said. “I’ve been kept home on productions but still worked events since 2014.  Keeping people home saves money on hotels, air travel or other resources. You don’t have to build edit facilities which cost money to transport and build, and you don’t need to rent office space.  Technology has grown to a point where all you really need is a small staff to set up a studio, then you get camera people to film live sports while having all footage fed back to your headquarters. So it’s become a task for production teams to roll with those changes while not diminishing the product for the viewer.  And this Emmy proves that it’s not just possible but a minimum expectation.”

In addition to those lessons, Gitlin also reflected on how the experience translates to the classroom for her students. “Everything I work on can translate to a classroom lesson.  This show is about making creative content out of things that already exist.  I can’t go out and film on my own, but I can make requests to people on site.  Since most of the team works from the offices in Stamford, we have to think creatively about how to make our content stand out and keep the viewers engaged.”

“This is a tremendous honor for Stacy, and everyone involved with our Sports Communication program is proud of her and her work,” said Kelly Whiteside, Professor, Sports Media and Journalism, and the head of the Sports Communication major in the School of Communication and Media at Montclair. “These real-world experiences also translate extremely well to the classroom where our next generation of sports communications leaders are learning from some of the best in the industry like Stacy.”

The Sports Emmy Award is from The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), a service organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational, and technical achievements within the television industry. It recognizes excellence in television with the coveted Emmy® Awards for News & Documentary, Sports, Daytime and Daytime Creative Arts programming, as well as achievements in television Technology & Engineering.

About the School of Communication and Media: Founded in 2012, the School of Communication and Media offers a range of dynamic programs in communication and media to a talented and diverse student population of over 1,800. Offering degrees in film and television, social media and public relations, advertising, journalism and digital media, sports communication, communication and media studies, animation and visual effects, and an MA in public and organizational relations, the School prepares the next generation of communication and media practitioners and leaders. The School houses award-winning student programs that include WMSC RadioThe Montclarion newspaper, Hawk Communications Agency, the Red Hawk Sports NetworkHawk+ OTT streaming platform, and News Lab, as well as the Center for Cooperative Media, which serves the public by working to grow and strengthen local journalism. Student projects and programs have recently received national recognition from PRSSA’s Bateman Competition, an Edward R Murrow Award, several Marconi Award nominations, and a College Television Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Contact: Keith Green, School of Communication and Media, 973-655-3701 or