Emmy Award winner featured at Murfreesboro Chamber banquet

Published 9:21 am Monday, February 7, 2011

MURFREESBORO – An 11-time Emmy Award winner will serve as the featured speaker when the Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce conducts its 59th annual banquet here Feb. 28.

John A. Ward II, a native of Gates County, will share his story of a small town boy who climbed the corporate ladder of success, now serving as vice president of Production for DIRECTV, Inc., the nation’s leading satellite television service provider.

The Chamber banquet at John’s Seafood & Steaks on Main Street in downtown Murfreesboro begins at 6 p.m. with an hour-long social and silent auction. Chowan University’s Jazz Combo will provide the entertainment during the social.

Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. followed by Ward’s featured comments.

Also on the agenda are the presentations of the Chamber of Commerce Award, the Sammy Doughtie Community Service Award (given by Murfreesboro radio station WDLZ-FM) and the Front Page Award (by the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald).

Tickets are $25 per person and are available from any member of the Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce or by calling the Chamber office at 398-4886.

The audience will be in for a treat to hear of Ward’s amazing journey from small town Corapeake in northern Gates County to becoming one of the major players in today’s ever-changing world of TV entertainment.

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 responsible for the operation and on-air production for DIRECTV s original entertainment, and in charge operational oversight of n3D, DIRECTV’S 3D channel that runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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

The 1987 Gates County High School graduate has been in charge of the Sports Operations group, where 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).

Ward 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.

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 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.  That same year he worked on the road as a Technical Producer for NFL coverage, working with Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Chris Collinsworth.

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

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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