Expansion of Sports Coverage at WOUB is Win-Win for All

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Sports coverage has always been important to the WOUB Center for Public Media and to the students who work here – but now it has taken on greater emphasis for the benefit of all.

We have expanded our overall sports coverage this academic year to provide you – members of our audience – with the best opportunities to stay abreast of all regional sports news. Our expanded coverage also gives our students greater opportunities to practice professional sports journalism at the highest levels.

The Center has entered into a contract with IMG College to broadcast Ohio University football and men’s basketball on four of our FM stations: Ironton, Chillicothe, Cambridge, and Zanesville.

This provides the Center with additional underwriting opportunities to enhance financial support of public broadcasting and it also provides our students with opportunities to participate in the network broadcasting of major college athletics.

WOUB senior Brian Boesch, one of the top-ten university sports broadcasters in the nation, will be the sideline reporter and join the broadcast team of Russ Eisenstein and WOUB alumnus Rob Cornelius.

“We are very excited for the opportunity to partner with the family of WOUB radio stations across Ohio in 2011-12. With the addition of WOUC-FM (Cambridge), WOUH-FM (Chillicothe), WOUL-FM (Ironton), and WOUZ (Zanesville) to the Citizens Bank Ohio IMG Sports Network, Bobcat Athletics now has an encompassing regional presence in Ohio and West Virginia. Ohio fans have the WOUB radio affiliates to thank for this monumental increase in radio coverage and I urge all Bobcat fans to show their appreciation by tuning in for this Saturday’s kick-off of Ohio vs. New Mexico State at 8 PM EST., “Dan Hauser, director of external relations for Ohio Athletics, said.

For people in those geographic areas who still wish to listen to our regular NPR based programming, they may either go to 91.3 on their radio dial or listen to WOUB FM via woub.org with live streaming.

This year we are trying something different in our coverage of Ohio University sports. Instead of the very popular Bobcat Blitz, that was a studio show featuring football head coach Frank Solich, we have created Bobcat Sports Showcase.

Showcase is a new show focusing on all Ohio University athletic teams and it will be a half-hour field produced weekly show running nine months of the year. It is being created by two seniors Tanner Smith and Grant Burkhardt and a crew that they have assembled.

Ohio Athletics wanted more coverage of the not-so-well-known sports and we stepped up to provide it. Additionally, it gives a crew of about 10 students a tremendous opportunity to create an on-going television show from the ground up. In addition to exposure on WOUB, the show is being carried by Fox College Sports. The show airs every Friday night at 11 p.m.

Besides the broadcasts, the students are responsible for the multimedia presentation of the material on woub.org/sports and the special Showcase page. "I can honestly say that this is the biggest project I've ever taken on, but I'm also excited about the unique opportunity that The Bobcat Sports Showcase will give me because it's like nothing WOUB has ever done,” student producer Tanner Smith said.

Host Grant Burkhardt added, "The transformation here has been, and continues to be, unbelievable. With 'The Showcase,' WOUB gives fans a totally unique production and gives us as students incredible experience we wouldn't be able to get anywhere else."

This year also marks the 13th year of Gridiron Glory, the high school football show that covers prep football in 55 counties and three states. The award-winning show airs Friday’s at 11:30 p.m. for 16 weeks in the fall and involves over 60 Ohio University student volunteers.

Again, in addition to producing and performing the weekly show, the students are responsible for multimedia treatment of the content and managing the Gridiron Glory page on woub.org and their own Facebook page and Twitter account.

This year, we also have been blessed to partner with alumnus Evan Shaw, a four-time Emmy award winning producer of athletic films. He created a new show called Relentless: An Inside Look at Ohio University Football Training Camp. He has produced five episodes.

It is an ongoing documentary about life “inside” the Ohio University football program and it has been met with rave reviews. The show has premiered each week on WOUB television and has then been picked up by SportsTime Ohio.

Evan, a veteran of NFL Films, has agreed to supply WOUB with video of Ohio athletic events throughout this coming year.

Finally, students also are producing on WOUB-AM a weekly radio talk-show, Sportsbeat. This show will involve discussion and interviews with top athletes. The show will be converted to podcasts and portions of each show will appear in the sports section of woub.org.

All of these efforts combine to create a full plate of activity but one that is providing our audience with the best quality regional sports coverage. Additionally, we are able to train more students and place them in some of the top sports markets around the nation.

"This year, the Sports Department is undergoing a complete reconstruction that will give students a better opportunity to get involved with both broadcast and online media," Sports Director Tanner Smith added.

We appreciate your support and your patience with our growing pains.