ESPN Book: Mary Carillo Had Issues With Those Damn Graphics Interfering With the Beautiful Tennis

Abruptly, Mary Carillo left ESPN as a tennis analyst in the middle of the 2010 US Open. She was considered one of the best tennis analysts of the 2000s. Why’d she leave? Previously, it was just labeled, “philosophical differences.” Carillo elaborated about them in the ESPN book.

“ESPN is very graphics oriented, and [it] was explained to me – because I was having a hard time watching the screen get smaller and smaller – that all the wizardry is there because there’s a lot of places where the sound is off. ESPN is shown in bars or people have it on in the background. They’re watching out of the corner of their eye.

So they want to give them a lot of graphics. I got some really big issues with that. In this world of high-def, amazing camera work, and mics on the courts, I want everything else out of the way. I would absolutely speak up in meetings, and I had a very definite idea about what good television looks like and sounds like. I have a strong sense of what we should be leaving the viewer with. I felt like we were smothering the product, that we weren’t trusting it at all. People just want to see the tennis match and they don’t really give that big a rip about all this other stuff that we’re bringing in. I would say these things in production meetings a lot. I’d go into one of my rants about us being more of a minimalist. Sometimes there would be changes. Sometimes.”

ESPN Book, pages 730-731

Previously: ESPN Book: Pam Oliver on the Perils of Dating While at ESPN: “Three-year drought”
Previously: ESPN Book: Dana Jacobson on the Night She Drank Vodka From the Bottle at the Mike & Mike Roast
Previously: ESPN Book: “Drunken Orgies” and Screwing in the Stairwell in the 1980s

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