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Tuesday, Dec 6, 2022
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Sports Bar Schmoozes Rams Coach

Valley football fans don’t have to wait till game day to get their fix of the L.A. Rams: The Westlake Village Inn has partnered with ESPN to broadcast a weekly show featuring head coach Jeff Fisher live from Bogie’s Bar. The hour-long program, titled “The Jeff Fisher Show,” is co-hosted by J.B. Long of Rams Radio and former Rams defensive tackle D’Marco Farr. Rams enthusiasts are welcome to join Fisher, Long and Farr in the audience on Mondays from 6 to 7 p.m. Chris Cuilty, chief operating officer at the Westlake Village Inn, said hotel managers had been brainstorming for ways to get involved with the team when they learned ESPN, owned by Walt Disney Co. in Burbank, was searching for a broadcasting location. “We were doing all kinds of different outreaches when we got ahold of ESPN, and they were looking for a place to host Jeff’s show,” Cuilty said. Though decidedly more sophisticated than the average sports bar, Bogie’s will provide an ideal location for the show, Cuilty believes. “(I told ESPN-LA) we’re really a destination resort, but that if they’re looking for something a little different, Bogie’s still provides a good sports environment,” Cuilty said. “They went out and shopped different venues, but they kept coming back to us.” Scott McCarthy, general manager of ESPN-LA, said the coach’s schedule was a top concern in the hunt for a venue. The Rams’ headquarters in Agoura Hills and practice facilities in Thousand Oaks made Conejo Valley establishments a natural first choice, he said. “The Rams had already put down roots in the area, and during the season Coach Fisher is obviously a very busy man,” McCarthy said. “We needed to make sure the show was as convenient as possible for him to get to on a Monday night so he could spend an hour with us.” Bogie’s was much more appealing than traditional sports bars both because of its indoor-outdoor atmosphere and its patrons, McCarthy explained. Sports bars tend to be rather raucous, making it difficult to capture quality sound. And holding the program at a venue with a clientele beyond die-hard sports fans offered the chance to reach an untapped audience, he said. “From our standpoint at ESPN, when we’re in a sports bar we’re sort of hitting all the same folks,” McCarthy said. “This way, we can attract people who are interested in sports and interested in the Rams but maybe don’t frequent a sports bar.” The setting alone is enough to make the drive from ESPN’s studio at L.A. Live a worthwhile adventure, McCarthy added. “It’s a little bit of a trek from here in downtown L.A., which is just a good reason to stay at the Westlake Village Inn,” he said. “That’s what I’ll be doing next time.” – Helen Floersh

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