Jerry Millen interview

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Jerry Millen interview

Post by InfinityLens on Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:39 pm

Notes taken from Sakuraba7 on Sherdog.

--What is your background in the entertainment industry before PRIDE?

Went to college for media/video, came out then hosted a radio show. Hosted a kids show on TBS (PBS?). Kept progressing in work in radio and television. Then became sports anchor for CBS in Detroit.

His station also owned UPN in their market (which aired WWE SmackDown), so he got to work with the WWE. Vince McMahon flew him to Stamford (WWE HQ) for try-outs for commentator role.

Auditioned with Michael Cole. He was denied the role because of his height 6'4. Announcers can't be taller than the stars. Was offered a job at the XFL, but XFL never made it to a second season.

PRIDE had come through Michigan (?), met Don Frye and Ken Shamrock. CBS Sports asked him to do a news report. Watched DVDs, thought it was awesome.

He began working for E! Network in LA. Hosted "E! News Live", and worked as reporter for "Extra".

PRIDE flew him to Japan. DYNAMITE!! (pride shockwave) was his first event he witnessed. Saw nothing like it before, was blown away. He was offered a job as commentator and producer. They were looking to replace Stephen Quadros.

I chose producer. Didn't want to work two roles and "do the best job i could". Already did TV/reporter work, preferred to take behind-the-scenes job. By the end of the run of PRIDE, became VP.

--Working for CBS sounds like a good gig, so its understandable why they gave you the job to bring it up to American standards. How did you improve the product?

When I came in, the English version wasn't produced very professional. They would edit parts of the fight out, to fit into the PPV. You had Bas Rutten and Quadros doing 10 minute comedy skits, and costumes.

He tried to put an end to that, and air the fights in full. "This is what the fans want to see", "If you want this to be taken mainstream". The fighters are the stars, not the commentators.

This is what caused problems. They felt I was there to take away their spotlight. So when i started taking the comedy skits away, I became the bad guy. I wanted a more professional product, if the sport was to grow.

--One of the things that became a hot topic (after he left), Bas seemed to be criticizing you for having a different work and birth name (Gary vs Jerry).

My legal name is Gerald. Which is why they call me "Jerry". Its funny coming from a guy named Sebastian (Bas), he should have been careful saying that.

Gerald Millen becomes "Jerry" Millen. But because he's not from the US, he never understood that. He thought my name was Gary! "That's why the Bulgary shit was just ridiculous"

"Take it with a grain of salt. He chose to air dirty laundry. Believe me, I have a TON of dirty laundry (on him) that I never aired. I never exposed anyone."

--Lets talk more about the editing of the show, that Bas took issue with.

When i came in, we killed the 10 min openers. A PPV only has a 3 hour window. "There's more fights than we can put on". They were doing interviews like "What's your favorite ice cream?". I said, thats not what the fans want, they can look that up online.

Because of time and copyright, had to cut out entrances. A japanese show can go 6 hours long, but PPV is only 3 hours. It was hard work. By the time the show would end, we had to edit the footage from Midnight to like 8 AM. Then on the morning we put it on the satellite, and they (PPV companies) would downlink it and put it on PPV.

Before they used to cut out entire rounds, "I said that's crazy". Of course, many people used to watch it online ahead of time (US), so that would hurt our PPV buys, but that's gonna happen.

--This fit in with your background, because you used to produce television content, so you had to put in what was most compelling.

Especially if they're paying for it. "You know, If i wanted to be 'the man' i could have just hosted the show, or become the play-by-play guy, that's what I was offered. I didn't care about being the star."

Speaks on Quadros. The Japanese wanted to fire him. Quadros blames Jerry because it happened after he came in.

Touches on Mauro Ronallo, his psychiatric problems. Hints there were some "problems" but doesn't touch further. Issues arose since Mauro was in a foreign country for extended periods.

Mentions commentary guys might hate him, but fighters respect him. Has good relations with Wand, Rampage, everyone else.

Talks about RIZIN. Working with Scott Coker and Fedor. "Scott gives Fedor the respect the other douchebag doesn't. Dana talked a lot of shit about Fedor."

Talks Dana being cool with him and fighters. The fertittas used to come to PRIDE shows to take pointers. Then as Dana grew and "his head got bigger" and money came in, things changed. He started bashing us. I responded back, and he wasn't used to that.

Talks Dana flaunting wealth, disrespecting fighters, and fighters speaking up.

Growing the RIZIN brand in an internet/social media world.

Interview ends at 49:00 min.

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Re: Jerry Millen interview

Post by Kinosis on Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:32 pm

Awesome, thanks for posting and the notes.

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Re: Jerry Millen interview

Post by CDF47 on Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:36 pm

Good interview.

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Re: Jerry Millen interview

Post by westcott123 on Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:55 pm

Great interview

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Re: Jerry Millen interview

Post by InfinityLens on Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:21 am

^^^No prob.

If anybody is wondering why I don't post on Global MMA or Sherdog anymore it is because I needed to focus on other things in my life and posting was taking up too much time.

Don't worry I am still here lurking!

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