LAS VEGAS — Dave McCann has the perfect face and voice for TV. He has a pleasant demeanor, people like his personality and producers of KLAS Channel 8 are fully invested in the idea the city should wake up to him and co-anchor Dayna Roselli every morning and trust them to give folks the news.
He awakes at 1:30 a.m., checks in at the TV station at 2:30 and leaves at 10 a.m., daily.
McCann also wears a second hat as the face of BYUtv sports. A former play-by-play sportscaster for UNLV football and basketball and Rebel coaches' shows, McCann is the lead voice on BYUtv football and basketball games and anchors "True Blue Sports," on BYUtv.
On Mondays, McCann leaves Channel 8 for the airport, flies to Salt Lake City, tapes the True Blue show, goes to his brother's house for dinner and catches an 8 p.m. flight home, where he opens his door and heads to bed for his 1:30 a.m. alarm. For the day before BYU game days, he repeats this schedule. Sleep is a distant dream.
But that's not all.
McCann writes a column for the Las Vegas Review Journal based on BYU sports which appears every Friday. Plus, he does a weekly radio show on the Cougars on KFHB 1400 AM that has been picked up by BYU radio.
Folks in Las Vegas can get confused. They wake up to McCann in the morning on Channel 8, and see him on BYUtv out of Provo that night. "Tuesday morning I put in a little more HD makeup around my eyes, and crack a smile. I don't know if that is the way to live, but it is the way I live."
A single parent with joint custody for two-and-a-half years, McCann calls it "life in a snow globe turned upside down." He has two kids at Utah State and three at home. "It's been a crazy life, but the kids love it. It has never been less easy, but I've never been more blessed than I've been in the last 18 months."
Sundays, he teaches 15-year olds in Sunday School, and he's the single-adult leader at his LDS ward.
His CBS affiliate job in Las Vegas would be enough for any man and father. But taking on a BYUtv role is in his blood. His father, the late Dale McCann, was the first executive director of the Cougar Club.
Dave got his first sports media job at age 14 when he covered high school games for the Daily Herald in Provo. While assistant sports editor Bob Hudson and I edited his copy after games, his father waited in the car to take him home. He delivered the newspaper, told folks to read his story on C-6 and then collected $4.50 for subscriptions once a month. Dave has always been a hard-working, talented entity. He had a short stint with ABC's Good Morning America as its first college reporter before settling in Las Vegas, where he immediately went to the top.
Dave is the third oldest of 10 children and grew up in Orem. He served a two-year Mormon Mission to San Antonio, Texas before graduating from BYU in 1991.
"Every employer has been great — with Channel 8 leading the way. BYU has been outstanding working with my schedule. I didn't do the San Diego game in Provo because I needed to do a New Year's Eve program on Channel 8 and couldn't get a flight out of Utah to get me here on time. It's the only game I've had to miss. "
McCann says BYUtv is on the threshold of something monumental. Being an expert in broadcasting, ratings wars, exposure, programming and reach, he has seen first-hand, the power of television.
When BYU played Northern Arizona in Prescott Valley, McCann and color man Steve Cleveland walked into the arena and everybody knew them. It was because their only connection is through BYUtv, watching the teams play, a team they don't get in their local paper or local TV broadcasts.
"It dawned on me then, sports is just a small part of the BYUtv mission, but in that piece, we can do for BYU sports what WGN has done for the Chicago Cubs — give fans knowledge about their team, no matter where they live in the world," he said. "They can watch, follow, feel they are connected and wherever the teams go, people buy tickets, show up, know the players, coaches and broadcast team because they've seen every game. It isn't a mystery."
McCann is impressed at the impact he has seen.
"We've done it one season. It's a road show when BYU travels; fans show up, know what the team did the previous week. They come up and talk to me, Steve and Blain Fowler like they've known us all their lives because we've been in their family rooms every week. They are taking pictures, telling us stories, texting us, and are eager to meet the players. They've connected."
McCann said all of this impacted him. "We are only scratching the surface of what this can become."
His mother Andrea is teaching English in China and watches Dave every game. "She tells me to smile more."
BYU's home game with No. 6 Baylor stands out. Baylor fans were impressed with BYUtv's broadcast and openly praised its production and objectivity. "It may have opened up doors outside of sports, but the game drew them to it."
Before the Prairie View game, Panther coach Byron Rimm told McCann how excited his team was to be playing on TV. "We have 100,000 fans back in Texas and they never get to see us play on TV," he said. McCann looked at him and said, "We're also on in 115 countries, so don't mess up."
The coach thought that was fun, said McCann, who also dropped the "115 countries" line on Santa Barbara's coach Bob Williams. "That's cool," he said.
"Who gets to have that? Nobody," he added. "It's fun to be on the ground floor of a giant skyscraper we're building, and who knows where it will take us? But there are some talented people on the ground floor, in the sports department and what we've done in one season is mind-boggling for pre-game, game and post game coverage.44 comments on this story
"What BYUtv has done since the school went independent is something else. It is on course to be better in years to come. We are in unprecedented territory."
And so is McCann, who is slated to do today's San Francisco game, fly home and teach Sunday School the very next day.
Then Monday morning, he'll welcome Las Vegas to the world just before dawn before he has lunch in Provo.
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