New A-10 commissioner brings TV experience

The Atlantic 10 Conference chose their fifth commissioner this June, and her background in television could bring some new exposure to a league largely ignored by the major networks.

Bernadette McGlade, the former associate commissioner of women’s basketball for the Atlantic Coast Conference, will replace Linda Bruno, who resigned in December after 13 years on the job.

“Where this conference is right now is a great place,” McGlade said at a news conference in Philadelphia. “To have this opportunity to be selected as your new commissioner is something you only sometimes dream about once in a lifetime.”

McGlade served on the NCAA women’s basketball selection committee from 1995 to 2000 and was chairwoman of the committee in the final two years of that stretch. But it was her experience in television – she was on the NCAA television negotiating committee from 1997 to 1999 – that made her the best candidate, Director of Athletics Jack Kvancz said.

“When you look at things we wanted from a commissioner, she had every single one of them,” Kvancz said.

In the modern collegiate-sports era, much of a conference’s revenue – and subsequently its stature – comes from its frequency of appearances on national TV networks. The commissioner’s job is primarily to set up TV deals and make sure that her conference’s games are seen by as many people as possible.

The A-10 has an existing exclusivity contract with CBS College Sports Television (CSTV), a deal which has been criticized in the past but also one that Kvancz sees becoming worthwhile under McGlade’s watch as CBS devotes more resources to the young network.

“I think CSTV could be to CBS what ESPN is to ABC,” Kvancz said.

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