David Luce standing

New Chief Content Officer at XSET is still innovating nearly 25 years after helping to launch WOUB’s “Gridiron Glory”

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David Luce graduated from Ohio University in 2000

ATHENS, OH – In October 2022, David Luce became the chief content officer at XSET, an up-and-coming gaming lifestyle company. Luce oversees the development, production and distribution of premium video content for the organization’s social platforms. Being on the cutting edge of media production is something Luce has been doing since his time as a student working at WOUB. He was a part of the student group that started WOUB’s half-hour high school football program Gridiron Glory in 1999.

I’m really proud of what Gridiron Glory has become,” said Luce. “The program that we put on back in 1999 was very amateurish compared to what it is now.”

Luce grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio near Cleveland. After high school, he wasn’t exactly sure what was next and decided to take a year off from school.

“I had a gap year. I graduated high school in 1995, but I wasn’t ready for college. I needed to get myself together,” said Luce. “I thought I wanted to be an actor, so I interned at the Great Lakes Theater Festival. I got an up close and personal look at acting life and realized that was not for me.”

After changing gears, Luce decided to come to Ohio University to study audio music production. But not long into his time in Athens, Luce realized he was also interested in the video side of things and started studying media production.

“I was really into storytelling,” said Luce. “And I think it was the end of my freshman year that I started getting involved at WOUB.”

Luce took advantage of all the opportunities WOUB offered. He learned audio, ran camera, operated master control and eventually become the director of WOUB TV’s nightly news program, NewsWatch.

“When I started, NewsWatch aired at 11 p.m. and on Friday night’s during high school football season we’d do a longer sports cast featuring local high school football highlights,” said Luce. “NewsWatch was moved to a 6:30 p.m. time slot and that took away the ability to cover high school football. So, we asked Mark Brewer (current WOUB General Manager), who at the time was in charge of WOUB’s programming, for some time at 11:30 p.m. to cover local high school football, and Gridiron Glory was born.”

Luce admits the first few episodes of Gridiron were rough but appreciates the fact that WOUB gave the students the chance to build something special through trial and error.

“I remember Mark saying to me after the first episode, ‘Dave, I’m really proud you got this thing on, but we can’t put it on the air that way ever again,’” said Luce with a laugh. “You have to start something and then let it grow. We were the first draft. We turned an empty page into something. We revised it and then made it into something spectacular. We breathed it into existence.”

After Luce graduated, he worked at WOUB for a couple of more years in a paid position, helping with Gridiron and producing and directing local programs. Then Luce went to film school and moved to Los Angeles just as reality television was starting to take off. Over the last 20 years, Luce has developed programming for production companies like ITV Studios, B17 Entertainment, and 44 Blue Productions, among others. Luce helmed projects for distributors like Netflix and Discovery and partnered with brands such as Complex and The Dodo. During his time as a documentary showrunner in Hollywood, Luce developed a reputation for innovative storytelling and candid, authentic interviews. His 2020 film Surviving Joe Exotic premiered on Animal Planet and was instrumental in the passage of new federal legislation banning the private ownership of big cats like lions and tigers. Luce also worked on programs like American Idol and America’s Got Talent.

“I’m excited to bring my expertise in content creation to XSET,” said Luce. “I will be producing social media content for the XSET brand. I’m excited to get to tell stories to people where they are on places like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.”

Luce says he keeps an eye on what current students are doing with Gridiron Glory and couldn’t be prouder. He’s thrilled that WOUB is still supporting the program and giving the students the chance to learn and innovate.

“At WOUB, I was given the tools and told to go learn how to use them. They didn’t teach me theory. They didn’t tell me this is how it’s done. They let me explore it myself,” said Luce. “When I got to LA, I thought everyone would have the skillset I had. But that was not the case. At WOUB, I learned all the production jobs, and I came out of there with a wide-ranging skill set.”