She was the first woman to ever head an NFL in-house broadcasting division. Of course, when she took the job, the Jaguars were only the second NFL team to have an in-house broadcasting department.
Jennifer Candelino, formerly Jennifer Kumik, is leaving the Jaguars at the end of January, concluding a six-seasons career as television talent and, since 1997, director of Jaguars broadcasting. Officially, Candelino is leaving to "pursue other career opportunities." Unofficially, she is leaving to start a family, which is good news for Mr. Candelino.
"I leave for work before he wakes up and I'm on my way to sleep by the time he gets home," Jennifer said. She and her husband, Anthony, were married on June 25, 2000. Anthony is the owner of the River City Brewing Company restaurant in Jacksonville.
With a list of professional accomplishments behind her, this is a good time for Mrs. Candelino to move on. She leaves the Jaguars with a lot of good resume stuff, and memories.
"I had always wanted to be involved in sports, particularly football, since growing up in Youngstown, Ohio. When I first signed on, I was just a TV host. I hadn't given any thought to what made a football organization work," Jennifer said.
She came to the Jaguars from Channel 12 in Jacksonville, where she was a night beat reporter. With the Jaguars, she was an on-air talent who found herself managing a department that would win two Emmy Awards and construct a state-of-the-art, in-stadium TV studio.
"One of the pet-peeve questions I have is 'What do you do in the offseason? You must have a lot of free time,' " she said.
The Jaguars won an Emmy in 1996 for the production, A Day In The Life Of Tom Coughlin. "You could pop that tape in and it would be the same story today. It's a timeless show," Candelino said.
A year later, Candelino and company claimed an Emmy for On The Road With The Jaguars, which chronicled the procedures in packing up a pro football team and taking it on the road.
As she prepares to leave her football career, Candelino says the two Emmy Awards and the TV studio are her greatest sources of pride. "At least you have something to show for it," she said.
Her regret is that she won't be around long enough to satisfy her passion for what she believes is the true function of in-house pro sports broadcast companies: "To try to present something the local stations can't; inside the locker room stuff, inside the meetings stuff, miking players, miking coaches," she said.
Her two Emmy-winning shows were such unique productions, but there remains a hesitancy for coaches to allow cameras and microphones behind the scenes. Even though it's an in-house production team, it's still media.
"At times, when we were afforded the opportunity to do that, the access … we'd love to do tons more, if we could," Candelino said.
In-house broadcasting is certainly a hot-potato issue. Is it ethical for teams to provide themselves media opportunities that would not be provided to outside media outlets? Some would say it's checkbook journalism. Others would say journalism ethics have become a thing of the past.
"I think the rules have been thrown out the window," Candelino said. "It's my job to go with the flow now. Do I have a problem with it? Sometimes, but I don't rack my brain about it anymore. That's what people want. I call it entertainment."
Candelino's duties fall to Jaguars Executive Director of Communications Dan Edwards.