As Director of Production, Coordination for Studio Remote Programming for the production unit, Chattam worked at the world’s biggest sports stage, doing jobs such as being the liaison between operations and domestic productions, creating daily production schedules, credentialing all personnel and directing the daily operations of studio content at the International Broadcasting Center.
Chattam also had some extra responsibilities thrown at her after arriving in Johannesburg including working behind the scenes at the Presentation Studio where she worked with talent as the production manager. This allowed her to be on site at several games.
This was something I had not done on the presentation side before,” said Chattam. “I dealt with it and figured it out and overall it was an amazing experience.”
This was Chattam’s first trip to South Africa and as she predicted before she left, some of the biggest challenges involved just having to work in another country.
One of the initial problems shortly after arriving dealt with reoccurring power failures in the city.
“A couple of times while we were shooting and setting up the power went out and we were hemming and hawing but they (the South Africans) were just like ‘okay, you better get use to this.”
The threat of a power outage caused Chattam and her team to come up with a different backup plan. The power outages never affected the broadcast during a game.
Being in a foreign country, even getting food provided some problems.
“We don’t have a Subway so we would have to explain to the locals what that was so they could tell us what the local Subway would be,” said Chattam.
“There were a few bumps in the road but nothing we couldn’t get over,” she added about the many challenges her team faced.
However, it wasn’t all work for Chattam in South Africa. After a busy beginning of the World Cup things began to settle after the first and second rounds since her job was mostly for setup.
While the World Cup was going on she was limited to what she could do but Chattam still managed to explore the city of Johannesburg and also take in such sites as the lion parks and the Apartheid Museum. As part of her job she was also able to go down with a crew and do and interview with Bishop Desmound Tutu.
Chattam also stayed after the World Cup was over on her own time and was able to take in more of what South Africa had to offer. During this time she was able to visit Cape Town and a few other places in the country.
“It was really amazing and the people were great,” she said. “I came back as a whole different person and I now really appreciate what I have.”
Chattam, known locally by her middle name Monyette, was a multisport athlete at GCHS, participating in basketball, softball and track.
She joined ESPN in 2000 as an assignment editor for baseball tonight. Chattam then became an associate producer for SportsCenter and after a couple of years was promoted to the Production Coordination Unit.
As part of the Production Coordination Unit, Chattam worked on some of the biggest sports stages including the Super Bowl, NBA Finals and World Series.
ESPN sent about 300 staff members overall to the World Cup.
The championship game featuring Spain and the Netherlands was the most matched FIFA Men’s World Cup game ever with an 8.1 Nielsen rating, drawing around 15.5 million viewers. Only the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup finals (US vs. China from the Rose Bowl) averaged more viewers with about 18 million.