Charles “Chuck” Pagano ’84, M’07 joined ESPN a month before it actually signed onto the air in 1979—and long before it became the global sports multimedia juggernaut it is today. Starting as a technical director, Pagano spent 35 years at ESPN, retiring in Feb. 2015 as its executive vice president and chief technology officer. Pagano guided ESPN to become a leader in sports television technology and expanded its technological footprint across the globe.
Pagano’s contributions made ESPN the leader in marrying cutting-edge technology to unparalleled content across a variety of media platforms. He was the key driver in the creation of ESPN’s Digital Center in Bristol, Conn., one of the most technically sophisticated TV production facilities in the world. Outfitted as an all-encompassing digital resource, the building contains over 7 million feet of cable and four HDTV studios.
Pagano’s culminating effort was delivery of the Digital Center 2 facility. In this 194,000-square foot building, the sports media company is prepared to handle the next wave of technology, whether that be producing content in 8K resolution or adapting shows to be interactive with social media.
In January 2016, Pagano was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 67th Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards, held in Las Vegas. He has been inducted into both the Consumer Technology Association Hall of Fame and the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
Throughout the industry, Pagano became known as a collaborative partner, an early adopter of new ideas, and a leader who always recognized that technology starts with people.
Pagano is also praised for his loyalty, a trait that is clearly illustrated through his long-standing association with the University of Hartford. He has received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in organizational psychology from UHart, is a former member of the University’s Board of Regents, and currently serves on the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture’s Board of Visitors.
Active in the community, Pagano is a Commissioner for the Waterbury (Conn.) Board of Education and president of Holy Land Waterbury, whose mission is to preserve the historic city landmark that the nonprofit is named for. He previously was chairman of the Connecticut Technology Council.