With a passion for broadcasting and sports directing, seven-time Emmy winner and University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumna Lori (Burns) Brooks ’82, has a reputation as a go-to director in regional and national sports coverage.
Brooks is a freelance director of sports telecasts for the Pac-12 Network and Pac-12.com, where she serves as the lead telecast director for Pac-12 women’s basketball.
Her success in the field of sports broadcasting has led Brooks to be honored with a 2016 UW Oshkosh Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award. Brooks and nine other award winners will be recognized during Homecoming weekend at the Alumni Awards Celebration on Friday, Oct. 20.
Brooks, of Walla Walla, Washington, earned her bachelor’s degree from UW Oshkosh with a major in radio TV film (RTF).
In addition to her position at the Pac-12 Network, Brooks works for Turner Sports Inc., as an associate director and field producer for NBA on TNT and MLB on TBS for both regular season and playoffs. Brooks has also served as associate director for the Olympic Games on NBC, working in Athens, Torino, Beijing, London and Sochi. She will be working the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio Aug. 5–21.
“Lori Brooks is a wonderful presence in her field of television production,” said Duane Lindberg, associate commissioner of the Pac-12. “She has established a reputation that rewards her with numerous and high-quality assignments.”
Lindberg said Brooks is an integral part of the Pac-12 team, helping the conference gain more exposure.
“Television production is a profession where independent contractors fill most of the positions and the most skilled craftsmen end up securing the work,” Lindberg said. “Add to this that both sports and television production are male-dominated, and it sheds even brighter light on Lori’s professional accomplishments.”
Brooks said she works with some of the best professionals in the broadcasting industry.
“I am grateful to learn from them, partner with them and contribute,” Brooks said. “Nurturing and maintaining trust and relationships with these people, entertaining our audiences and producing a body of work to be proud of is what I consider to be my greatest professional achievement.”
Brooks said teamwork is a lesson she learned in her time at UWO in the RTF and residence life departments, where she worked on radio, election and news coverage and as a community adviser.
“Fundamentally, teamwork and leadership flowed from both those programs into the fiber of my being,” Brooks said. “The sounds a bit overly dramatic, but it is genuine. The impact of these lessons will be with me forever.”
In addition to her professional accomplishments, Brooks said the achievement she is most proud of is her family.
“I call my daughters my ‘greatest productions.’ They are smart, honest, warm, kind and compassionate young women,” Brooks said. “I am so proud of them, and I humbly hope I guided them to the amazing people they are today.”
For Brooks, UWO gave her the foundation she needed to follow any path she found.
“UWO gave me an education for life, not just for four years. The greatness of that cannot be understated,” Brooks said.