Lafave Imparts His Wisdom On Networks
Larry Lafave was working for CBS when he was asked to build a new production truck specifically for golf. He was told it needed to be done in a month.
No sweat for Lafave. These were the kind of assignments he likes.
“I remember it was December 19 and I was in Buffalo, New York,” said Lafave, how the Director of Remote Operations for the Pac-12 Networks. “I started on it that day and on Jan. 22 it rolled into San Diego for a golf show. At the end of the show there was a pile of boxes the size of a small mountain in front of the truck. Somebody said to do something about it because it was scratching his loafers. That was the worst thing they could say about the show, so I guess it went pretty well.”
Lafave said getting that truck up and running was the biggest challenge he took on until earlier this year when he decided to join the Pac-12 Networks. The networks leaned heavily on Lafave’s 43 years of experience to work through all the obstacles of launching seven networks at the same time.
“I have a reputation in the business of doing things pretty much nobody else would touch,” Lafave said. “This one was probably the greatest challenge there could be. To take something from Ground Zero and launch eight networks in a short time frame is a real challenge. You get your ego involved and think, ‘I gotta try this.’”
The Pac-12 Networks are glad he did. Lafave was one of the first hires they made. The networks needed someone to examine the infrastructure and procedures for all of the ambitious plans that were in the works, and Lafave, who has managed the production elements of some of the biggest sporting events in the world, was the perfect fit.
“Having someone like Larry was very, very important for us,” Pac-12 Networks Senior Vice President of Production and Operations. “We needed someone to tell us what would work for us and what wouldn’t. If we didn’t have someone that has his myriad of experiences, it would have been a much harder launch. It was a real concern for us.”
Lafave was hired on Jan. 3 and the next day he joined Schweir and a few other network officials to begin a barnstorming tour of all 12 campuses in the conference. They visited all the venues in which the networks would be broadcasting live events from, with Lafave providing insight to what needed to be done to make them production-ready.
“Larry looked in every closet he could find in every arena,” Schweir said. “Every day we’d tour a different school’s athletic facilities and then we’d have a meeting with a representative of the school’s athletic department. Larry would always say ‘This has been a really great day.’ He ended every meeting by saying it was the best day ever. That’s the kind of enthusiasm he has.”
Lafave, 62, said he recently finally took his first couple of days off since the networks launched on Aug. 15. Not that he is complaining.
“I’m proud of what we’ve done here,” Lafave said. “It was an insurmountable task, and we’ve had our moments, but we’ve gotten it done. “