By LARRY VAUGHT
“BBN Tonight” on WLEX-TV in Lexington is now almost a year on and the 30-minute weeknight show provides exclusive access to University of Kentucky coaches and players not available anywhere else through WLEX’s partnership deal with UK.
Even having to deal with the pandemic has not stopped the content flow.
“It was kind of an odd thing to start out with masks and Zoom interviews when we started, but we made it work,” WLEX-TV sports director/anchor Keith Farmer said. “Some coaches at UK did not know us very well when we started back in August. It was great to sit down with them in whatever way we could to get to know them and let viewers get to know them.”
The show airs Monday through Friday from 7:30-8 p. m. EST and Farmer says things “took off” with spring football for BBN Tonight.
“Things started to open up more and we got some extra access. They wanted to promote what was going on with football and they allowed us to come in while they were just doing Zoom with most of the media,” Farmer said. “We sat down with (UK coach Mark) Stoops weekly and got to talk to players one on one. We feel like we are getting people BBN wants to hear from and are providing a platform for them to be heard.
“I have been excited about getting to do sports other than basketball and football. Volleyball had a great run and we let people get to know the players and actually hear and see a full interview with them. I liked letting people know about softball, golf, tennis and more.”
BBN tonight hired Anna Maria Tarullo and Maggie Davis as on-air talent.
“Anna has done great. I knew of her a little bit from Twitter interactions. She’s from Louisville but has such a passion for UK sports,” Farmer said. “She knows sports, too. She has been able to pick up and talk about all the different sports because she has followed UK since she was little.
“Maggie was a find and a steal. She is going to be a rock star and I hope she is with us for a long time. She is one of two producers (Jesse Riffe is the other one) for the show. Her writing is awesome and she has some great connections. She interned for us and ESPN. She is super comfortable in front of a camera.”