Bredes Knows All About Talent

When Pac-12 Networks Director of Talent and Development Kristin Bredes first arrived at Pac-12 Enterprises last April, she initially didn’t make a whole lot of friends.

It’s not that Bredes isn’t a perfectly likable person. It’s just that she only had a few months to sift through a few thousand audition tapes before the Pac-12 Networks launched in August.

“I literally had my headphones on all day. Everyone probably thought I was just listening to Pandora all day long,” Bredes said. “I was extremely anti-social. I was watching reels and taking notes like a crazy person. People were like, ‘That’s what you were doing? We thought you didn’t like us.’”

Bredes, a former Director of Talent for CBS College Sports, was an integral force in the networks’ launch and continues to oversee the scheduling and hiring of the on-air talent. She is ultimately responsible for every voice heard and every face seen on the Pac-12 Networks, and getting to that point was a huge undertaking.

Bredes said she looked at over 3,000 audition tapes before the networks launched. With a short amount of time between her hire and Aug. 15, that meant there wasn’t a whole lot of time for anything else but evaluating prospective on-air talent.

“It was pretty nuts, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Bredes said. “I knew I had about three months to get everything in gear. I was told there was no way we are not launching on Aug. 15.”

Bredes said she already had some talent in mind when she decided to take the job – Ted Robinson, Adam Archuleta, Jennie Finch – to name a few. But the audition tapes also helped her not only make some immediate hires, but keep other names in mind for the future.

“They gave me a long leash, which is really nice,” Bredes said. “They gave me a lot of say into who to hire. We wanted the majority of them to come from a Pac-12 school or have some affiliation with the Pac-12.”

Bredes had spent her entire career on the East Coast before coming West. After graduating from Boston University, she landed a job at WBLI Radio in New York. She then moved on to what was then called College Sports Television, before it was purchased by CBS.

Bredes worked at CBS College Sports for seven years before getting hired by the Pac-12. Her transition to the West Coast was a smooth but speedy one. Her last assignment at CBS was the 2012 men’s basketball Final Four in New Orleans. The championship game took place on April 2. Her first day in the Pac-12’s Walnut Creek office was April 4.

“I literally did the pregame show then got in the car and went to the airport,” Bredes said. “A day later, I was in the Walnut Creek office looking at reels and answering e-mails. They said, ‘Here’s your budget. Here are your events. I hit the ground running.”

Now that the networks are off and running, Bredes is continually working with the talent to set schedules, put teams together and limit conflicts for the broadcasters that are also employed by other entities. She knows the talent she has hired could always be in demand, meaning she needs to focus on retaining talent as well as always keeping on the lookout for a possible infusion of new voices and faces for the networks.

“There are always a lot of things that come up,” Bredes said. “I’m always watching reels. You’re always planning, always keeping your ears open to what’s going on in the marketplace.”