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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Shanks adjusting to new position

Monday, July 26, 2010

Eric Shanks
By his account, Eric Shanks still holds the record at Northview High School for most interceptions thrown and caught in one season.

The former quarterback and free safety, a 1990 NHS grad, also played baseball competed in wrestling while in school.

Although Shanks, 38, is no longer competing on the field or mat, he is still involved in sports. Now, he's behind the scenes.

Recently, Shanks was named the new President of Fox Sports. He had previously served as Senior Executive for DirecTV.

Shanks succeeded Ed Goren, who has become Vice Chairman of the Fox Sports Media Group.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Shanks was in the limelight as Fox Sports produced the Major League Baseball All-Star game.

To him, he felt it was a success.

"We had a few more elements that it had in the past," Shanks told The Brazil Times. "Besides just working with baseball on the pregame ceremony and the big onfield ceremony they do beforehand, we actually shot the first-ever national broadcast in 3-D.

"We had a separate Fox crew there shooting in 3-D. There was a lot of stuff to get ready, but the 3-D version was extremely well received. As it turns out, baseball is one of the best (sports) to shoot and watch in 3-D. Pretty much everybody that saw it was blown away from the experience.

"The other part of the game was exciting. We had a really exciting game, once the scoring started."

Prior to leaving the area, Shanks also worked at The Brazil Times, working as a sports writer, columnist and photographer among other things.

Through the help of former Times' Editor Jim Dressler and current Indiana University Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities Chuck Crabb, Shanks veered into the world of television and sports.

"They are who steered me in this direction," Shanks said, adding he spent time working for IU Sports Information.

In his new position, Shanks is responsible for marketing, promotion, communications, business and legal affairs.

He has long ties to the corporation. In 1994, Shanks joined the media group as a broadcast associate.

In 2004, when News Corporation -- the Fox Media Group parent company -- purchased DirecTV -- Shanks had returned home. He said he worked there until 2002 when the DirecTV position opened. But after News Corporation made the purchase, Shanks spent time in Italy working for Sky Italia, an Italian digital satellite television network owned by News Corporation.

He became President of Fox Sports during the last week of May.

"I kind of started my career at Fox Sports," Shanks said. "This is kind of the next chapter inside the Fox family. It's like (1977 Eagles' classic, "Hotel California"). You can try to check out, but you can never leave.

"Fox has not only had a great tradition of production, really high production values, and being different than the other networks."

Another part of his job, something he finds himself doing practically every minute of the day, is checking television ratings.

"You look at them everyday," he said. "You look at them upside down and sideways, on the broadcast side of sports. At the broadcast network, that's part of the typical job description."

Heading into the middle of summer, Shanks has no time for rest. Soon, Fox Sports will be gearing up for the beginning of the National Football League season in addition to the MLB National League Championship Series, World Series and then the Daytona 500.

"We have an enormously good amount of product on the air," Shanks said. "We have great talent. For me coming in here, it's kind of reinforcing that Fox attitude, that we continue to put on a more enjoyable broadcast than the competition."

For example, Shanks said Fox has several new ideas in store for the 2010-11 NFL campaign.

He said former Vice President of Officiating for the NFL, Mike Pereira, has joined Fox Sports and will serve as a rules analyst for the network's NFL coverage.

"He was brought in before I got here," Shanks said. "We have just spent the last couple of days exactly trying to figure out the logistics of getting him into all the broadcasts on a Sunday."

Shanks said when rules need interpreting for the at-home fans, Pereia will pop onto the screen to provide an explanation. He will also be used in other capacities.

"We've got a few tricks up our sleeve for the football season," Shanks said.

But before the start of the NFL season, Shanks has another important date to keep in his calendar: July 31.

That's when members of the NHS Class of 1990 will reconvene in Brazil for their 20th reunion. The event is scheduled to take place at the Oak Ridge Golf Course.

Shanks said he visits his hometown at least twice a year, but is looking forward to sharing old war stories with friends at the reunion.

"We'll see how it goes," Shanks said. "A lot of my buddies are still there. We were always trying to figure out a way to minimize the amount of time we would spend in class. We all joined (Future Farmers of America) as a great way to not spend time in normal class. There was always some distraction.

"The guys and gals I grew up with, my friends I grew up with, are still my best friends in the whole world. There were people that were always putting you in your place and making sure you don't forget where you came from. It's always great to come back and see everyone."

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Another Brazil resident makes good. I'm proud of him and I don't even know him! Keep movin' on up, Eric!

-- Posted by Dagnabbitt on Tue, Jul 27, 2010, at 7:45 AM

Thank you for writing such a great article. We are very proud of what he has done with the doors being opened that he could walk through. He and his family are very blessed. Dad and MOM

-- Posted by patinfla on Tue, Jul 27, 2010, at 10:04 AM

Way to go Eric! Nice to see that a good ol' Brazil boy has done so well for himself! And please take your own advice, and don't forget where you came from! :)

-- Posted by millertime on Tue, Jul 27, 2010, at 10:13 AM

I do not remember this guy. Can somebody help jar my memory. I graduated in 90.

-- Posted by royss secretary on Tue, Jul 27, 2010, at 11:44 AM

Does he have a brother named David, he had a lot more hair

-- Posted by royss secretary on Tue, Jul 27, 2010, at 11:49 AM

Give the man a break and quit talking about the interceptions he had. I'm sure he did many good things or he wouldn't have gotten where he is today.


-- Posted by VBBoy52 on Thu, Jul 29, 2010, at 2:57 PM

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