Open Mic Grand Jury Spotlight: Howie Sylvester

New York Festivals Grand Jury are some of the best and brightest in the radio industry and the brilliant creative minds who judge the 2019 NYF Radio Awards. These award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, composers, on-air talent, and programming executives are all actively involved in creating today’s innovative radio content.

Howie Sylvester, Executive Producer for  98.5 The Sports Hub

Open Mic Spotlight spends a few minutes each week with NYF’s respected Grand Jury members and each NYF Spotlight interview shares the insights of these esteemed content creators from the wonderful world of radio.

This week we shine the spotlight on New York Festivals Radio Awards Grand Jury member, Howie Sylvester, Executive Producer for  98.5 The Sports Hub. Howie is responsible for the production of over 200 professional sports broadcasts per year.

His Documentary Producer/Writer: programs include: Kraftwork: 25 Years of Patriots Ownership, Rough Injustice: the Story of the 1976 New England Patriots, Too Many Memories: the Bruins-Canadiens Rivalry, All In: the Cam Neely Story, Call to the Hall: the Willie McGinest Story, Gil & Gino Behind the Mic, Hail McHale: the Kevin McHale Story, and Number 33: the Larry Bird Story.

In 2016 Howie earned the Silver NYF Radio Awards Trophy for “Too Many Memories: the Bruins-Canadiens Rivalry”  the documentary, produced to coincide with the NHL’s Winter Classic between the two teams, covers the most important events in the 90-year history of their rivalry.

New York Festivals: What qualities are most important in award-winning work?

Howie Sylvester: 1. Production values—the piece has to jump out of the speakers and grab your attention. 2. Writing—needs to be clear and concise, and create engagement that makes you feel like you NEED to listen to this.

New York Festivals: How does your experience within the industry help you throughout the judging process?

Howie Sylvester: I listen to a lot of radio, so I have a pretty good idea of who’s doing a good job and who’s mailing it in. Fortunately, there are still more of the former than the latter.

New York Festivals: How do you think content creators will change the way they tell stories in the future?

Howie Sylvester: Right now we’re seeing a lot more long-form because of the lack of restrictions inherent in podcasts. That’s good, in that you can go deep into stories that interest you, but I think we’ll see a shortening of content in the long run because nobody has the time to devote to a 2-hour production.

New York Festivals: What project meant the most to you in your own history?

Howie Sylvester: My documentary on Larry Bird when he retired—it was the first one I was involved in, and it taught me how important teamwork is on a big project like that. Everything else I’ve done since that one was influenced by that one.

New York Festivals: What advice do you have for young people just beginning a career in the industry? 

Howie Sylvester: Don’t accept mediocrity. Resist the urge to just get the job done. Make that last edit that makes your piece better. Even if you’re the only one who’ll notice, you’ll sleep better knowing you gave it all you have.

For more information on New York Festivals Radio Awards, please visit: Join NYF Radio Awards  in New York City and celebrate this year’s world’s best radio at the 2019  Radio Awards Gala on June 24th, for more information, please visit: Here.

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