i3 - November/December 2016 - 45

Chuck Pagano
ESPN Chief Technical Officer, HDTV Pioneer

When HDTV was in its infancy, few TV networks wanted to invest in expensive
next-generation production facilities.

B

ut Chuck
Pagano knew
the clarity
that HDTV
would bring to sports, and
convinced ESPN to build
the first HDTV production
studio. A visionary, Pagano
led the creation and digital
distribution of consumerfocused content, and is one
of the people responsible
for making HD an industrywide standard.
Born February 12, 1954,
in Waterbury, CT, Pagano
was the son of Charles, a
tool and die maker, and
Helen, a manufacturing
quality control officer.
While attending Wilby
High School in Waterbury
and working at a local
newspaper, Pagano was
inspired to become
an engineer by the space
program and by an
engineer he befriended,
who walked Pagano
through the mechanical
intricacies of installing
the paper's new advanced
lithographic printing press.
Pagano's family could
not afford to send him
to college, so after high
school graduation in
1972 he took a job as
a tool and die trainee.
The 1974 oil crisis forced
cutbacks, so after a stint
on unemployment, Pagano
became a DJ at a local
radio station - except he
C TA . t e c h / i 3

was more attracted to
the blinking lights on the
engineering side of the mic.
While working as a TV
technician at WFSB-TV,
the CBS affiliate in Hartford,
starting in 1977, he attended
the University of Hartford
at night, majoring in
electrical engineering. He
started working for ESPN
as a technical director
in 1979, three months
before the network's
September 7 launch, as
one of the company's first
35 employees. He also was
working his way toward
his electrical engineering
B.S. in 1984.
Pagano progressed
through ESPN's technical
ranks, as manager of
engineering project
development (1989-92),
director of operations
and engineering project
development (1992-

94), vice president of
engineering project
development (1994-95),
senior vice president of
engineering and technology
(1995-99), and senior vice
president of technology,
engineering and operations
(1999-2005).
It was during this
period that Pagano made
his impact on HDTV
acceptance and expansion.
In the early 2000s, it
wasn't clear how networks
would, if ever, build
expensive HDTV studios.
But Pagano kept insisting
that ESPN executives
look at the superiority of
the HD picture. "There's
no choice," Pagano said.
"We must launch HD."
Pagano got the go-ahead
to oversee construction
of a $100 million-plus
Digital Center production
facility at ESPN's Bristol, CT,

headquarters. Completed
in 2004, the clarity of live
HDTV was broadcast to
millions of sports fans,
spurring the sales of flatscreen HDTVs. Virtually
every other network
followed suit.
Pagano also oversaw
the building of the world's
first 1080p production and
broadcast facility for ESPN's
Los Angeles operation
in 2009, a second digital
center in Bristol in 2011,
then the even more hightech Digital Center 2
in 2014, after which he
retired. Pagano still lives
in the Waterbury home he
grew up in.
Pagano's pioneering
broadcast technology
work has earned him
multiple honors, including
a Technology Leadership
award from Broadcasting
& Cable magazine (2004),
the Vanguard Award for
Science & Technology
from the National Cable
Telecommunications
Association (2012),
induction into Broadcasting
& Cable magazine's Hall
of Fame (2012), the David
Sarnoff Medal from the
Society of Motion Picture
and Television Engineers
(2013), and multiple Emmy
Awards including a Lifetime
Achievement Award at
the 2016 Technology &
Engineering Emmys.
n
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016

45


http://CTA.tech/i3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - November/December 2016

Contents
i3 - November/December 2016 - Cover1
i3 - November/December 2016 - Cover2
i3 - November/December 2016 - Contents
i3 - November/December 2016 - 2
i3 - November/December 2016 - 3
i3 - November/December 2016 - 4
i3 - November/December 2016 - 5
i3 - November/December 2016 - 6
i3 - November/December 2016 - 7
i3 - November/December 2016 - 8
i3 - November/December 2016 - 9
i3 - November/December 2016 - 10
i3 - November/December 2016 - 11
i3 - November/December 2016 - 12
i3 - November/December 2016 - 13
i3 - November/December 2016 - 14
i3 - November/December 2016 - 15
i3 - November/December 2016 - 16
i3 - November/December 2016 - 17
i3 - November/December 2016 - 18
i3 - November/December 2016 - 19
i3 - November/December 2016 - 20
i3 - November/December 2016 - 21
i3 - November/December 2016 - 22
i3 - November/December 2016 - 23
i3 - November/December 2016 - 24
i3 - November/December 2016 - 25
i3 - November/December 2016 - 26
i3 - November/December 2016 - 27
i3 - November/December 2016 - 28
i3 - November/December 2016 - 29
i3 - November/December 2016 - 30
i3 - November/December 2016 - 31
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i3 - November/December 2016 - 33
i3 - November/December 2016 - 34
i3 - November/December 2016 - 35
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i3 - November/December 2016 - 38
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i3 - November/December 2016 - 45
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i3 - November/December 2016 - 67
i3 - November/December 2016 - 68
i3 - November/December 2016 - Cover3
i3 - November/December 2016 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20191112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190708
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20181112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20171112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20161112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160910
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