Spencer Linton on the set of BYU Sports Nation. (Shyler Johnson)

A day in the life of BYUtv sports personality Spencer Linton

An average workday for Spencer Linton often includes early mornings and late nights as he hosts BYU Sports Nation and calls sporting events for BYUtv.

Linton graduated in communications from BYU with an emphasis in journalism in April 2007. He started his first broadcasting job in Grand Junction, Colorado nine days after graduation. In June 2022, Linton will have been reporting for BYUtv for nine years and working as a commercial sports broadcaster for 15 years.

Spencer Linton and Kristen Kozlowski calling the BYU women’s basketball game. (Shyler Johnson)

BYU Sports Nation

Linton’s day begins early when he hosts BYUSN. Before he goes to work there is a conference call from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. BYUSN hosts, student producers, BYUSN Coordinating Producer Ben Bagley, or another sports producer, all attend the meeting. The content on BYUSN for the day and the guests are reviewed and confirmed in the meeting.

Linton arrives at the set anywhere from an hour to five minutes before the show goes live. He is instructed to arrive at a certain time depending on when or if prerecorded interviews are occurring with guests.

After sitting down at the BYUSN desk, Linton usually then touches up his makeup, powdering his face to ensure that he doesn’t look shiny on camera. He then checks in with his producer to review the content of the show. BYUSN then goes live and Linton takes the stage, creating entertaining content for BYU sports enthusiasts.

Jason Shepherd is one of Linton’s co-hosts for BYUSN. Shepard said that it is “always a pleasure” to work with Linton.

“Not only is he a friend but also he’s really good at what he does,” Shepherd said.

Linton’s microphone on the BYUSN set. (Shyler Johnson)

Calling games

Linton also calls games for BYUtv, including women’s basketball, gymnastics, women’s volleyball and others. He does about 100 games per year, adding up to about 900 games during his time so far at BYUtv.

When calling a game, Linton often arrives anywhere from an hour to five minutes prior to the game starting, and once both reporters are ready, they will pretape the open to the game.

Spencer Linton and Kristen Kozlowski prepare to pretape the open for the game. (Shyler Johnson)

“Even if he shows up with nothing, he will be prepared,” Linton’s co-host for women’s basketball Kristen Kozlowski stated.

Once the pretaped open is finished, Linton and his co-host jump into reporting the game from the starting lineup to the different play-by-play commentary. During the game, Linton’s primary task is to explain to viewers who are watching what they are seeing and other facts that may be beneficial to know about the teams, players and the game itself.

Statistic sheets are passed out throughout the game to help them stay on top of the different parts of the game. Linton also has the stats on his own laptop along with other research he brings from his preparation prior to the game.

When it comes to preparing for games, it’s “like cramming for a final” Linton said. “The game is a test, you don’t know what questions are going to be on the test, but you have to prepare for anything.”

Linton’s setup at a women’s basketball game. (Shyler Johnson)

During the game, when there are questionable calls, refs can communicate with the announcers. This can help as they continue to inform viewers of the different calls in the game.

When Linton sits down to announce or host BYUSN, he either puts on a headset or an earpiece which allows him to be heard on TV as well as hear and communicate with his producers.

When on live television, not only is Linton speaking, but the producers are often talking as well to Linton and his co-hosts and others in the production control room. This requires Linton to stay focused and on task even when there are several voices in his ear.

Linton’s boss Dave Phillips Jr., or just “Junior,” is a supervising sports producer at BYUtv.

“He doesn’t crack under pressure,” Junior said when asked about Linton’s performance. “He has an amazing mind.”

Throughout commercial breaks, Linton consults with his producer and his co-host regarding what should be discussed next and checks his social media. Interviews with coaches and players also happen during these breaks as well as before and after the game.

Spencer Linton and Kristen Kozlowski interview Jeff Judkins after his 450th win with the BYU women’s basketball team (Shyler Johnson)

When Linton isn’t hosting BYUSN or calling a game, he is preparing for upcoming shows or games or at home with his wife and four kids. While he has invested many hours into BYUtv and being a commercial sports broadcaster, family always comes first.

“You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do for the family,” Linton said.

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