Amina Hussein’s job at Prime Video Sports is all about teamwork, both behind the camera and in front of it. As head of talent, she built a team of top broadcasters including the Thursday Night Football (TNF) desk team of Tony Gonzalez, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Richard Sherman, Charissa Thompson, and Andrew Whitworth. We recently caught up with Hussein when she moderated a special TNF on Prime event in Seattle to learn more about her role and what inspired her to pursue her career.
Tell us about your role at Prime Video Sports.
I am currently the head of talent for Prime Video Sports, collaborating with the Thursday Night Football production team to ensure we identify, recruit, onboard, and position the best talent for our live sports broadcasts, alternate feeds, and related sports content.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job? What is the most fun part?
Having hired Thursday Night Football on-air talent just this past summer, it has been a welcomed challenge managing expectation and responsibility, while navigating both internal and external requests. On the flip side, watching this incredibly talented team come together has been the most fun and rewarding experience.
‘Thursday Night Football’ is an exciting part of Prime Video. What’s it like being part of the ‘TNF’ team?
I have to give credit to Marie Donoghue, Jay Marine, and Jared Stacy for having brought together an absolutely amazing team behind the camera. Not only is everyone incredibly knowledgeable and talented in their craft, but they are really dope people who make these long days more bearable.
How do you go about selecting talent for ‘TNF?’ What does the process look like?
I have produced shows in the past where I didn’t have a lot of input when it came to selecting talent, and that was really challenging. It has been a collaborative journey, working with TNF production to secure the best of the best. Throughout the process every single stakeholder had a voice as we focused on a combination of young, fresh-off-the-field faces and veteran broadcasters. We got lucky to have what we like to call “the smartest pregame talent in the business,” boasting UC Berkeley, Stanford, and Harvard alum as part of the desk.
How did you build the career you have today?
Prior to my role here at Amazon, I was with ESPN for nearly 18 years, ultimately as an Emmy-winning senior coordinating producer. Over the course of my career, I’ve really valued the importance of my network both internally and externally, regardless of where I was in the world. I think the biggest challenge early on was finding my voice in the male-dominated sports world. Since I found it, I haven’t stopped talking.
Who inspired you to start the career you have?
In this business, the business of live sports production, the lack of women who looked like me behind the camera served as my ultimate inspiration—that, along with my mom who always empowered me to be comfortable in my own skin.
You have a demanding job. How do you create a good work-life balance?
Work-life balance? Never heard of it! I’m kidding—kind of—but in reality, the balance for me comes by making it a point to take time for myself, whatever that looks like in the moment. Also, the saying, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life,” really applies.
What is your favorite Leadership Principle and why?
My favorite leadership principle is “Hire and Develop the Best.” My job is not only to hire the best in the business, but develop and encourage growth within both Amazon’s ecosystem and within the larger sports broadcasting industry. There’s a number of changes and challenges that exist within these spaces and together, we hold a continued commitment to setting our talent up for success while continuing to raise the bar.
Any career advice for others?
Listen, be curious, ask questions, work hard, and most importantly—be kind!