The Ask

After a month of March Madness, Senior Editor Anthony J. Cortese traveled to the 2017 Final Four in Phoenix, AZ, to edit and deliver two epic opens (“teases” as they are known in the sports biz) for CBS Sports. On Saturday, Chris Pine was featured in the playful “Go West, Young Man” to celebrate the Final Four’s return to the Pacific Time Zone for the first time in two decades.

Cortese then switched gears to take a theatrical tone for Monday’s NCAA Championship Game. “The Stage” features 2017 Oscar Winner (and former Division I baller) Mahershala Ali delivering an ode to “The Greatest Year in Sports.” From the Cubs' historical World Series triumph and the Patriots' unforgettable Super Bowl comeback, Ali delivered a monologue that truly put the night in perspective, all set to a re-imagining of Phil Collins’ classic “In the Air Tonight.”

The players weren't the only ones who scored at this year's NCAA Tournament. The NCAA National Championship game scored a +21% ratings increase from last year, making it the third highest rating for the final game since 2005. The NCAA Tournament scored a +13% average ratings increase from last year.

The client was more than pleased:

"This past month was the busiest I've had in years. What started as a nice simple shoot for the Final Four Saturday tease became a series of three essays, a feature for the Final Four, and a huge player shoot with the Final Four teams.

With that workload, there is only one person I'd want to work with – Anthony Cortese.

Look, I'm hesitant to suggest Anthony – I don't want anymore competition for his time.

But honestly, he's the best editor and collaborator I've ever worked with. As I described him to Chris Pine when working on the Final Four tease, "Anthony is the guy who always comes up with the best line in every piece." If that's name dropping, it isn't Pine – it's Cortese.

There are plenty of editors out there – if you want an editor/writer/producer/collaborator who is full of ideas, has an endless work ethic, and isn't afraid to crack a joke at all hours, then hire Anthony Cortese and DEFINITION 6. Even if it means more competition for me, you'll be hiring the best."

Gareth Hughes
CBS Sports

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