For the most part, the pace of developments in this industry and in our country moves rapidly. Still, you’d think more of the technological wonders in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, released in 1968, would be commonplace six years after 2001. Such is the business of forecasting, whether 30 years ahead or just 12 months hence, as we do in our annual look at the year ahead that begins on page 14. We invite you to tell us your ’07 cable predictions — click here to share your opinions and we’ll publish the best.
Surely it shouldn’t have taken until 2006 to see the first full-time female anchor on a broadcast network. It’s sadder that it’s taken until 2007 to celebrate TV’s first full-time, female golf commentator, which was set to occur Jan. 4 (see our story in this issue).
Yet Kelly Tilghman’s spot in history deserves mention, even if most at The Golf Channel, including Kelly, are downplaying it slightly. That’s just Kelly’s modesty, an asset honed during years playing collegiate and professional golf. It’s easy to know why The Golf Channel is proud of its historic woman — they know her qualifications. Heck, she’s been at Golf since Arnold Palmer (yes, that one) and Joe Gibbs (no, not that one) founded it 12 years ago. She started as a production assistant and became one of Golf’s best journalists. An aside: We’ve watched Kelly calm youngsters during Golf’s Drive, Chip & Putt event; so she’s also one of Golf’s nicest.
That said, Kelly’s job won’t be easy. As Golf SVP Don McGuire notes, golf on TV is a "producer’s medium." In most sports cameras follow the ball constantly. "In golf, you don’t see every shot. The producer determines what holes and players are seen." Kelly will be asked to shift between holes and know instantly which player is being shown. She’ll also have to move smoothly between a team of on-course reporters and analysts. We predict her experience and extensive knowledge of golf will help her become an excellent traffic cop.
Speaking of predictions, we didn’t do too badly putting Steve Jobs and his iPod on the cover of our 2006 predictions issue. And sister pub CableFAX Magazine didn’t do a disservice naming Kelly a rising star back in 2002.