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Emmy Award winner comes home

GATESVILLE – During his years growing up in Gates County, John A. Ward II perhaps attended homecoming festivities held annually at Gates County High School.

On Friday evening, June 11, Ward will enjoy homecoming once again – this time as the center of attention as the multiple Emmy Award winner will serve the keynote speaker at the 2010 commencement at Gates County High School.

Admission to the commencement, which will be held inside the new GCHS gym, is by ticket only. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the ceremony getting underway one hour later.

Ward, a 1987 GCHS graduate, is the son of the late Joan and John Ward of Corapeake. He and his wife, Kristen Scott-Ward, now reside in Westwood, California.

Currently, Ward’s career has led him from working with NBC and Fox Sports to DIRECTV Entertainment. He joined DIRECTV in 2005 as Vice-President of Production, where he is in charge of all air operations and responsible for a team of 70 people who work in the studios, program preparation department and in the Sports Broadcast Operation Center.

He is also in charge of the on air operations for the 101 Network, a 24×7 entertainment channel that is broadcast in HD and in SD.

Also in charge of the Sports Operations group, he is responsible for the delivery of all the out-of-market packages to the company’s customer base, which includes NFL Sunday Ticket, NBA League Pass, MLB Extra Innings, NHL Center Ice and NASCAR HotPass as well as additional coverage of all the golf and tennis majors: The Masters, The British Open, The US Open (Golf), the PGA Championship, the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open (Tennis).

Currently, Ward has implemented the remote camera system for “The Dan Patrick Show,” where cameras in Connecticut are controlled and switched via LAN connection to the Los Angeles studio.

Ward said his biggest project for 2010 is the launch of three 3D channels in late June/July for DIRECTV. He and his team will be producing the MLB All Star game in 3D this summer from Anaheim, California and will be set to launch N3D, their 24×7 3D channel in late June.

A 1991 graduate of North Carolina State University, Ward first worked in Los Angeles with another Corapeake native, Beth Polson. He was a Production Assistant for Corapeake Productions/The Polson Company and also worked with Polson at NBC News.

After his stint at NBC, Ward worked with Fox Sports where he won 11 Emmy Awards for work on NFL, MLB and NASCAR events. He worked three Super Bowls, 10 World Series, four Stanley Cup finals, and multiple Daytona 500s during his 12 years with Fox Sports where he moved from Broadcast Associate to Production Supervisor to Director of Production. He was also chosen to manage Fox “startup” businesses, living in London for two, four-month stints to get NFL Europe up and going, with responsibility for the entire operation in Europe. He then came back to the U.S. to lead the Fox debut of NASCAR coverage in 2001, and to start SPEED, a new Fox Cable Channel.

In 2004, Ward started Fuel TV, another Fox Cable Channel that featured action sports as its main content, including Surfing, Wakeboarding, and Skateboarding. In 2004 Ward also worked on the road as a Technical Producer for NFL coverage, working with Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Chris Collinsworth.