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Fox Sports to shoot TV show in Fairbanks

Submitted by scott wilson
Phone: (907) 474-6807


It's TV time in Fairbanks again. A film crew from Fox Sports Net in Detroit will be in Fairbanks this weekend to film a show about the University of Alaska Fairbanks hockey program for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

The 30-minute weekly show is called "CCHA Weekly" and highlights conference members. Part of the show will include UAF's games Friday and Saturday, Jan. 16-17, against the Wildcats of Northern Michigan University. Both games will begin at 7 p.m. at the Carlson Center.

"We're very excited about having Fox Sports Net come to Fairbanks to produce a show about our university, the Nanook hockey program and the city of Fairbanks," said UAF Director of Athletics Cory Schwartz. "This is quite an honor for us and we're very excited about what this means to the community."

Heading up the production this weekend will be free-lance producer Brent Valenti, who has produced several shows for Fox Sports Net including the Pontiac Challenge Cup and several editions of "CCHA Weekly."

"We try to use these shows to show off the level of hockey in the CCHA and to get as much exposure as we can for the schools in the conference," said Valenti, who will be arriving in Fairbanks on Thursday with CCHA ringside reporter Shireen Saski. "There is no doubt that hockey fans around the country want to know more about Fairbanks and the Nanook hockey program. Our goal this weekend is to show the UAF campus, the hockey program and the commaraderie between the team and the town."

Valenti will have the Fox Sports crew very busy during their stay in Fairbanks. On Friday, FSN will be attending the UAF Coaches Luncheon, tour the campus and take part in a reception before the game. After Friday's game, the FSN crew will also film the "Skate with the Nanooks."

A trip to Chena Hot Springs and a tour of the Ice Hotel highlight the television crew's itinerary for Saturday. Saski will then meet with Iditarod Champion Susan Butcher, who will teach her about dog-sledding and provide her with a sled ride to the Carlson Center for Saturday's game. Later that night, the Fox Sports Net crew wants to view the Northern Lights.

Valenti will wrap up the FSN stay on Sunday with a trip to the Santa Claus House before heading to the airport for his flight back to Detroit.

But that's just the beginning of the work for Valenti and his staff. After getting back home from Fairbanks, Valenti and his people will start going over the tape and deciding what footage will make the best show.

"We will get home from the trip and immediately start working on editing the tape," said Valenti. "The show is only 30 minutes long, so Shireen and I will go over the tape and see how we can develop characters for the show." Valenti mentioned that besides players and coaches, he will be talking to university officials and local government dignitaries.

Valenti and Saski have never been to Fairbanks, but are anxious about the trip. Both say they are coming to Fairbanks with "a clean slate."

"Going to Alaska has been something I've always wanted to do. I am a little nervous about it, but I think it will be a lot of fun," said Saski. "We're going to be very busy while we're up there, but I am really looking forward to meeting the players and getting a chance to see the press conference after the game. That just sounds like a great thing for the fans."

"I am excited about coming up to Fairbanks. There are a lot of good stories around Fairbanks and we want to bring those out. People like (former UAF hockey player who is now paralyzed) Erik Drygas are just stories everyone needs to know about," said Valenti. "There is a lot of uniqueness in Fairbanks and we want to show that to the rest of the country."

Valenti said that the show will air on Friday, Jan. 23, at 3 p.m. AST on Fox Sports Detroit.