Longhorn Network has named its core on-air team for its upcoming launch. Lowell Galindo, Samantha Steele and Kevin Dunn will make their debuts Friday, Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. CT when Longhorn Network goes live from the South Mall on the UT campus. They will be joined on the set by the crew of the Emmy Award-winning ESPN College GameDay – Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard and Erin Andrews – for previews of the Longhorns’ upcoming football season and its home opener vs. Rice slated for Saturday, Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. Texas coaches, players and former student-athletes will also be on hand for the two-hour special.
Stephanie Druley, vice president, production for Longhorn Network, said, “We are thrilled to have Lowell, Samantha and Kevin join us. They will bring a fresh perspective and are passionate about college sports. Who better to introduce them than Chris Fowler and the GameDay cast, the most respected group in college football?”
The Houston-born and San Antonio-raised Galindo has served as ESPNU’s lead anchor since 2007 working primarily from its Charlotte, N.C. headquarters. He has hosted such network staples as SportsCenterU, ESPNU Inside the Polls, ESPNU Coaches Spotlight, ESPNU Campus Connection and others in addition to many studio pre-game, halftime and postgame shows while reporting duties will go to Steele who joins ESPN from Fox Sports. The Phoenix native hosted and reported coverage of college football and basketball primarily for the Pac-10 and Big 12 conferences. And Austin, Texas, native and UT grad, Dunn, signs on from CBS College Sports. He will both report and host for the channel.
Following the network’s debut, at 8 p.m., fans will see Texas’ first women’s volleyball match of the season. Senior Rachael Adams and junior Sha’Dare McNeal will return to lead the nation’s top recruiting class as ranked by Prepvollyeyball.com featuring freshman Khat Bell and Haley Eckerman as UT hosts Pepperdine in the Burnt Orange Classic. At 10 p.m., Texas All-Access will debut providing unprecedented access to Coach Mack Brown and the Texas football team throughout the season.
Dave Brown, vice president, programming, Longhorn Network, said, “In true Texas fashion, we’re going to launch Longhorn Network in a big way. We want fans to know that we will look for every opportunity to make their viewing experience a great one.”
Studio and Staff
The network’s two main studio sets will be housed at University Park (3300 N. Interstate 35). The network will occupy three floors of the eight-story building and is just six blocks from Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium. Building for the production facilities has begun and staff are expected to move in late July.
Approximately 50 staff members have been hired for the network. Thirty-one employees from ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn., will make the move to Austin, Texas, 10 of whom are Texas graduates, and five more, natives of the state.
Viewers seeking more information about where and how to get Longhorn Network in time for its August 26 launch should visit GetLonghornNetwork.com. At launch, the site LonghornNetwork.com will be the broadband network home for Longhorn Network.
About Longhorn Network
ESPN has a 20-year agreement to own and operate a year-round, 24-hour network dedicated to Texas athletics in partnership with UT and IMG College which has the exclusive right to sell advertising. Longhorn Network, scheduled to launch August 26, 2011, will offer a variety of content, highlighted by more than 200 exclusive events annually from 20 varsity UT sports, original series and studio shows, historical programming and academic and cultural happenings. Additionally, the LonghornNetwork.com broadband companion to the TV network will offer extensive content.