Covering one of the greatest sports spectacles of the year has almost become routine for Klein College alum and sports production specialist, Mark Pokedoff, who recently finished his 16th Stanley Cup assignment. He also just received his fifth Sports Emmy; this time for his coverage of beach volleyball in the Rio Olympics under the category "Outstanding Technical Team Remote."
Pokedoff was, of course, not always as prominent as he is today. 15 years after he left Temple, he first became a freelance journalist.
It was fairly new at the time and the networks were just starting to employ strictly freelance employees. "I really didn't understand that freelancing existed," he said.
Pokedoff attributes the jumpstart of his career to Temple where he worked as a student broadcaster at student-run radio station WRTI.
"It enabled me to gain all these different skills sets that I could use in the future," he said.
His experience at Temple led to his entry-level job at Major League Baseball Productions, followed by positions at a television station and a sports memorabilia company as a producer and director. Ultimately, he describes his start in freelancing as a "happy accident."
"I ended up getting laid off from my position and at the same time I had made myself available to kind of start at the bottom of freelance TV," he said. From there he started with a name and a phone call and quickly built a client list.
Most of his work is as a digital replay operator and/or editor, where he is in charge of one or more cameras capturing action for the viewers for organizations like NBC, CBS, ESPN and more. He enjoys having the ability to work with new technology and the flexibility and ability to choose the projects he works on.
"For me my work tends to come in waves," he said. "I'll work a month really intensely or a couple of weeks really intensely and then I'll take some time off."
After an intense period of covering the Final Four, the Masters and the Stanley Cup, Pokedoff is took a well-deserved vacation to Cape May and is resting at home. He is accompanied by his family (who also keep him busy) which includes: his wife, a 3-year old, an 8-year old, a 21-year old and a 25-year-old Temple graduate.
For students at Temple, Pokedoff has this advice: "Learn about every aspect of the business. The more skills you have—the more knowledge you have about every aspect—is going to make you a more valuable person."