Aspen TV personality gets big gig with ESPN
Ryan Summerlin December 27, 2012
ASPEN – When your own website defines you as a “bad-ass Australian beauty,” you’d better be one.
It would seem that Ramona Bruland, an Aspen TV personality who just got signed by ESPN to cover the upcoming Winter X Games in Aspen, as well as other X Games events, qualifies.
The “Australian beauty” part speaks for itself. But is she a bad ass?
“Maybe in a way that’s similar to the typical Aspen woman,” Bruland, 32, said with a laugh. “Especially if you look at it globally. I like to do crazy, off-the-wall adventure activities.”
Bruland pointed out that she’s into all sorts of stuff, from skiing and hang gliding to dirt-biking and spearfishing.
As far as her new gig with ESPN, call it a “plum” assignment for Bruland, a former full-time producer and currently a freelance personality for Plum TV.
Bruland got a call from ESPN in September.
“I submitted my reel to ESPN two years ago, never heard anything, so I was like, ‘Oh well, they probably aren’t interested,'” she said.
“This summer, Chris Stiepock, general manager of the X Games, was here in Aspen and asked me what I was doing,” she continued. “I told him I was freelancing, and he said, ‘You should submit your reel again because with the (new Global X Games) there are some hosting positions opening.'”
Global X, for those not familiar, is a new marketing brand for the series of games, given that ESPN recently expanded the event to include international host cities.
“They got back to me and asked when could I come in for screen tests,” she said. “And I was like, ‘Really?’ I did the screen tests, and by November I had the job.”
Bruland said she has been doing promotional interviews for the X Games and will be featured on “SportsCenter,” the popular ESPN broadcast that provides a roundup of the latest happenings in the sports world, in the weeks leading up to the Buttermilk Mountain event.
Her Aussie accent was a big check mark in her favor.
“With the new global format, with the X Games on an international platform now, five countries, six cities, they liked the Australian accent,” she said. “While I’m not a sports analyst, I have a travel, lifestyle and action-sports background. I’m an outdoor adventure girl myself. It’s the exact vein they were looking for. You know, it was a case of the right time, right place, right fit.”
Bruland said she’s got a three-year contract with the network to handle X Games broadcasts. Each year, it will be reassessed, she said.
“They have exclusivity (from me) in the action-sports genre,” she said. “I have freedom to do other freelance work. Like, I can continue doing things for Plum TV.”
Bruland, who grew up in Adelaide in South Australia, said she’s called Aspen home for three years now. Plum TV brought her here in the fall of 2009 after she worked for the network’s Telluride station for three years.
The full-time work with Plum TV’s Aspen station ended when the entire network laid off most of its work force in September 2011 because of financial issues. The network has since reorganized and is still active in the local market.
In the late 1990s, Bruland bounced back and forth between the U.S. and Australia, depending on the season. Bruland estimates that she began living in the U.S. full time in 2001.
In addition to TV sports and features, she’s also displayed her prowess as an actress, appearing several times in a guest role on the CBS soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
No matter what she’s doing, Bruland said, it’s good to be based in Aspen.
“I was so happy when Plum TV relocated me here,” she said. “What’s not to love about Aspen? (It has) the outdoors, the active lifestyle and the like-minded people who have defied the norm and stepped away from the cities and the 9-to-5 corporate jobs that we’re all expected to do.
“Aspen definitely has the culture and the arts; the locals and the people who pass through make up an intellectual crowd. There’s really a lot going on for a small place. I’ve always been drawn to the small town, where everyone knows their neighbors.”